Women and Politics


In module 5.1 we will begin our discussion of equal representation and women’s role in politics. We’ll discuss trends in female representation over time and talk a little bit about what accounts for these trends. In our discussion, we’ll pay special attention to the role of gender quotas in boosting female representation. You will do this by completing a Scatter Plot. The purpose of this exercise is to encourage you to think about some of the economic factors related to unequal representation and to teach you how to illustrate relationships between variables using a scatter plot.

In module 5.2 we are going to focus on descriptive representation as it pertains to gender. First we are going to ask how descriptive representation is achieved through gender quotas. Then we will look at how descriptive representation influences a leader’s policy preferences. Finally, we will look at how descriptive representation influences public policy. In both modules you will be reading relevant articles and textbook chapters, as well as watch lecture and supporting videos that relay important information about the concepts listed above. You will then take a quiz to ensure you have understood what you read. These quizzes will prepare you for the final exam.


By the end of unit, you should be able to:

  • Analyze why women are more represented in some countries relative to others. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 4)
  • Discuss changes in women’s representation over time. (Course objectives 1, 3, 4, & 6)
  • Identify the effects of women’s representation on policy. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 4)
  • Analyze the cultural effects of women’s leadership. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 4)

Lecture Slides

Module 5.1 Slides

Module 5.2 Slides