Men in Power: The Significance of the Representation of Women in terms of Gender Equality in the National Legislatures of Sweden and Canada
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesis
The representation of women in numbers in national legislatures is an issue of great importance to Feminist researchers around the world. While the representation of women is an accomplishment in its own right, what remains to be said is whether or not the representation of women in national parliaments affects the level of gender equality present to a great extent. In this paper, gender equality is measured in terms of general working conditions in parliament, such as the distribution of women among standing parliamentary committees, and the attitudes of parliamentarians towards the issue of gender equality. In this multi-strategy research design a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is used in the form of questionnaires, interviews and statistical analyses in order to establish the significance of the representation of women in the national legislatures of Sweden and Canada. The national legislatures in Sweden, the Riksdag, and Canada, the House of Commons, were compared as the Riksdag represents a progressive case in terms of the presence of women with 45 percent women, while the House of Commons represents a less progressive case with only 21 percent women. The Politics of Presence theory represents the theoretical framework for this study and is tested in order to determine whether the presence of women truly matters.
In this study it is found that the presence of women in national legislatures does not signify gender equality as conditions of gender inequality are found in the attitudes and working conditions in the Canadian House of Commons and in the working conditions of the Swedish Riksdag. It is concluded that the representation of women does not matter with regards to gender equality as situations of gender inequality exist in both national legislatures investigated.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2005.
Social sciences, Women, Politics, Parliament, Sweden, Canada, Riksdag, House of Commons, Gender, Equality, Representation, Presence, Distribution, Attitudes, Power, Committees
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2726ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D--05/013--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-2726DiVA: diva2:20067