"It's Not Just a Matter Of Increasing Numbers!" Advancing Women's Political Representation in Quota-Adopting Countries
Electoral gender quotas are among the most contested policies worldwide. A common criticism is that quotas promote undeserving women and therefore undermine the meritocracy. Although criticism persists, paradoxically, it has rarely been subject to empirical testing in Central and Eastern European countries. The objective of the present study is to address this gap by examining the characteristics of a randomly selected sample of 410 representatives in the local councils of Albania. By comparing the councillors across demographic characteristics, political experience, and ties in politics, I show that quotas have promoted a diverse group of women, who, compared to men, are more educated, younger, and more likely to live in rural areas. While the practice of relying on family or kinship ties to advance in local politics is more common among women than among men, differences were not found between women promoted through gender quotas and their non-quota female colleagues. The present findings call into question the assumptions that surround gender quotas, suggesting greater use of evidence to challenge popular perceptions and beliefs. (original abstract)
- Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2005). Institutions as a fundamental cause of long-run growth. In: P. Aghion & S. N. Durlauf (eds.), Handbook of economic growth (Vol. 1A, pp. 385-472). North Holland.
- Antić, M. G., & Lokar, S. (2006). The Balkans: From total rejection to gradual acceptance of gender quotas. In: D. Dahlerup (ed.), Women, quotas and politics. (138-167). Routledge.
- Bacci, C. (2006). Arguing for and against quotas: Theoretical issues. In: D. Dahlerup (ed.), Women, quotas and politics. (32-51). Routledge.
- Beer, C. C., & Camp, R. A. (2016). Democracy, gender quotas, and political recruitment in Mexico. Politics, Groups, and Identities, 4(2), 179-195.
- Bjarnegård, E., Yoon, Y. M., & Zetterberg, P. (2018). Gender quotas and the re(pro) duction of corruption. In: H. Stensöta & L. Wängnerud (eds.), Gender and corruption: Historical roots and new avenues for research. (105-124). Palgrave Macmillan.
- Bjarnegård, E., & Zetterberg, P. (2019). Gender equality as a new tool for autocrats? The changing relationship between regime type and the political representation of women. Paper presented at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden.
- Bush, S. S. (2011). International politics and the spread of quotas for women in legislatures. International Organization, 65(1), 103-137.
- Bylesjö, C., & Seda, F. S. S. E. (2006). Indonesia: The struggle for gender quotas in the world's largest Muslim society. In: D. Dahlerup (ed.), Women, quotas and politics. (259-265). Routledge.
- Celis, K. (2006). Substantive representation of women: the representation of women's interests and the impact of descriptive representation in the Belgian parliament (1900-1979). Journal of Women Politics and Policy, 28(2), 85-114.
- Central Election Commission. (2015). Të dhëna mbi kuotën gjinore për kandidimet në zgjedhjet vendore 2015 [Data on the gender quota for nominations in the local elections of 2015]. http://www.cec.org.al/Portals/0/Documents/CEC 2013/Barazia_gjinore/kuota_gjinore_kanidimet_Zgjedhjet_ Vendore_ 2015.pdf
- Chiva, C. (2018). Gender, institutions, and political representation: Reproducing male dominance in Europe's new democracies. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Commission for Legal Issues, Public Administration and Human Rights. (March 11, 2015a). Procesverbal [Report]. Albanian Parliament.
- Commission for Legal Issues, Public Administration and Human Rights. (March 24, 2015b). Procesverbal [Report]. Albanian Parliament.
- Council of European Municipalities and Regions. (2019). Women in politics: Local and European trends. https://ccre.org/img/uploads/piecesjointe/filename/CEMR_Study_Women_in_politics_EN.pdf
- Çuli, D. (2000). Essays on Albanian women. Dora d'Istria.
- Dahlerup, D. (2018). Has democracy failed women? Polity.
- Dahlerup, D., & Freidenvall, L. (2010). Judging gender quotas: predictions and results. Policy & Politics, 38(3), 407-425.
- Dahlerup, D., & Gaber, M. A. (2017). The legitimacy and effectiveness of gender quotas in politics in CE Europe. Teorija in Praksa, 54(2), 307.
- Dauti, M. (2017). Women's decision-making power in the local councils of Albania. Do numbers make a difference? Global Social Welfare: Research, Policy & Practice, 5(4), 253-263.
- Dauti, M., & Gjermeni, E. (2015). Mapping women's representation in the local councils of Albania. In: S. P. Ramet & C. M. Hassenstab (eds.), Gender (in)equality and gender politics in southeastern Europe: A question of justice. (213-228). Palgrave Macmillan.
- Dauti, M., & Zhllima, E. (2016). Public perceptions and attitudes toward gender equality in Albania: A pilot study. United Nations Development Programme.
- David, A., & Nanes, S. (2011). The women's quota in Jordan's municipal councils: International and domestic dimensions. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 32(4), 275-304.
- Erebara, G. (2015). Çelësat e kashtës grave (gjithashtu edhe burrave) [The keys of wheat straw given to women (as well as men)]. Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Albania. http://pushtetivendor.reporter.al/celesat-e-kashtes-grave-gjithashtu-edhe-burrave/
- Franceschet, S., Krook, M. L., & Piscopo, J. M. (2012). Conceptualizing the impact of gender quotas. In: S. Franceschet, M. L. Krook, & J. M. Piscopo (eds.), The impact of gender quotas. (3-24). Oxford University Press.
- Franceschet, S., & Piscopo, J. M. (2008). Gender quotas and women's substantive representation: Lessons from Argentina. Politics & Gender, 4(03), 393-425.
- Instat. (2018). Burrat dhe gratë në Shqipëri [Men and women in Albania]. Instat.
- Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2018). Women in parliament in 2017: The year in review. https://www.ipu.org/resources/publications/reports/2018-03/women-in-parliament-in--2017-year-in-review
- Knight, J. (1992). Institutions and social conflict. Cambridge University Press.
- Korunovska, N., Srbijanko, J. K., Ilikj, S., & Maleska, T. (2015). Women in politics: Paths to public office and impact at the local level in Macedonia. National Democratic Institute.
- Krasniqi, A. (2017). Zgjedhjet 2015: Risitë dhe problematikat e përfaqësimit gjinor [Elections 2015: Novelties and concerns of gender representation]. UN Women and Institute of Political Studies.
- Krook, M. L. (2016). Contesting gender quotas: dynamics of resistance. Politics, Groups, and Identities, 4(2), 268-283.
- Kushova, E. (2015). Tallja me pjesëmarrjen e grave në politikë [The derision with women's participation in politics]. Shqiptarja. http://shqiptarja.com/analiza/2709/tallja-me-pjesemarrjen-e-grave-ne-politike-285233.html
- Nistotskaya, M., & Stensöta, H. (2018). Is women's political representation beneficial to women's interests in autocracies? Theory and evidence from post-soviet Russia. In: H. Stensöta & L. Wängnerud (eds.), Gender and corruption: Historical roots and new avenues for research. (145-167). Palgrave Macmillan.
- Nugent, M. K., & Krook, M. L. (2016). All-women shortlists: Myths and realities. Parliamentary Affairs, 69(1), 115-135.
- Phillips, A. (1995). The politics of presence. Clarendon.
- Pitkin, H. F. (1967). The concept of representation. University of California Press.
- Rashkova, E. R., & Zankina, E. (2017). Women's representation in politics in South Eastern Europe: Quotas and the importance of party differences. Teorija in Praksa, 54(2), 376.
- Rawłuszko, M. (2019). And if the opponents of gender ideology are right? Gender politics, Europeanization, and the democratic deficit. Politics & Gender. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1743923X19000576
- Sater, J. N. (2012). Reserved seats, patriarchy, and patronage in Morocco. In: J. M. Piscopo, M. L. Krook & S. Franceschet (eds.), The impact of gender quotas. (72-86). Oxford University Press.
- Vojvodic, A. (2019, July). Lingering legacies and emerging progress: Explaining gender quota adoption in Central and Eastern Europe. Paper presented at the European Conference on Politics and Gender, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Valdini, M. E. (2019). The inclusion calculation: Why men appropriate women's representation. Oxford University Press.
- Zetterberg, P. (2008). The downside of gender quotas? Institutional constraints on women in Mexican state legislatures. Parliamentary Affairs, 61(3), 442-460.