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Gender & Politics in Eastern Europe

Gender & Politics in Eastern Europe: The substantive representation of women in Poland


Principal investigator: Dr Anna Gwiazda, Department of Political Economy, King’s College London

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/People/academic/gwiazda.aspx

The project is funded by the Noble Foundation's Programme on Modern Poland. It runs from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017: http://pomp.com.pl/en/

Project overview

This research project examines the issue of women’s political representation in Eastern Europe. In particular, it will focus on the substantive representation of women in Poland. The main research question is: To what extent do women representatives influence policy outputs promoting women’s interests? This is a vital question for democratic theory and practice. Representation is an essential element of modern democracy and hence political institutions should be representative. However, the argument that democracies are not sufficiently representative is widespread. Women are underrepresented in political institutions. The normative argument for a greater representation of women has been matched by a concern about policies aimed at enhancing women’s representation both descriptively and substantively. The literature distinguishes between descriptive and substantive representation (see Pitkin 1967). Whereas descriptive representation focuses on the number of women elected to parliament, substantive representation emphasises the effects of women’s presence on policy outputs. This project will shed more light on women’s representation by analysing new democracies from Eastern Europe.

Research aims and objectives

The main aims of this research project are:

  • to examine the political representation of women in Poland
  • to revisit the existing approaches to substantive representation and the      concept of women's interests
  • to present the case of Poland in the context of debates on gender&politics in Eastern Europe
  • to examine East European democracies in terms of the descriptive and substantive representation of women

Gender & Politics Workshop

Workshop programme

Women's Parliamentary Representation in Eastern Europe Poster

Dr Anna Gwiazda organized a one-day workshop centered on the theme of her research project – Gender & Politics in Eastern Europe: The substantive representation of women in Poland – which explores women’s political representation in Eastern Europe. More specifically, Dr Anna Gwiazda seeks to investigate the following vital questions for democratic theory and practice: Are women well represented in national parliaments? To what extent do women representatives influence policy outputs promoting women’s interests?

Professor Joni Lovenduski – a distinguished scholar in the field of politics&gender - gave a keynote address on ‘Feminising Power’.  

Academics from across Europe were in attendance and presented papers, including:

Professor Milica Antić Gaber, University of Ljubljana: ‘Legislative gender quotas in Slovenia’

Professor Gabriella Ilonszki and Adrienn Vajda, Corvinius University of Budapest: ‘Substantive Representation in Decline. Hungary 1999-2011’

Dr Marjeta Šinko, University of Zagreb: ‘Women's Parliamentary Representation in Croatia’

Dr Elena Semenova, Free University Berlin: ‘Parliamentary representation of women in CEE countries’

Dr Cristina Chiva, University of Salford: ‘The Substantive Representation of Women in the Politics of Central and Eastern Europe’

Dr Ekaterina Rashkova, Utrecht University: ‘Gender Politics and the Slovak Far-Right Parties’

Dr Jan Nemec, University of Economics, Prague: ‘Women’s Representation in the Czech Republic’

Dr Anna Gwiazda, King’s College London: ‘The substantive representation of women in Poland’

Elena Brodeala, European University Institute, Florence: ‘Legal and political debates on electoral gender quotas in Romania’

Liana Minkova, University of Cambridge: ‘The Gap between Descriptive and Substantive Representation of Women in Bulgarian Parliament

Burtejin Zorigt, CentralEuropeanUniversity: ‘Men vs Women: different policy agendas in Hungary.’

Markéta Mottlová, Charles University in Prague: ‘Czech Social Democrats and Adoption of Party Gender Quotas.’

Anna Workshop 6

Anna Workshop 3 - Copy

Anna Workshop 5

Anna Workshop 1

Anna Workshop 4

Anna Workshop 2 - Copy

Anna Workshop 7

Research dissemination

Anna presented a paper entitled ‘Women’s political representation in Poland’ at the 2017 Annual Conference of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), University of Cambridge,1st April 2017.

http://www.suzy-howes.co.uk/basees2017/programme.pdf

Anna gave a guest talk about women’s parliamentary representation in Poland at the Centre for Gender Equality in International Affairs, The Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, Washington DC on 26th April 2017

Click here for a larger image of the poster.

Anna Gwiazda Poster

Anna presented a paper entitled ‘The substantive representation of women in Poland’ at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA), Milan, 22-24 June 2017.

http://epsanet.org/pdfs/EPSA_2017_Programme_Final.pdf

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