Why are there more women in parliament than ever before, and does it matter?


Why do some countries do better than others in advancing women as political leaders and in promoting women’s rights? And what difference does this make to women’s everyday lives? In this episode CEDAR’s Nic Cheeseman talks to Aili Mari Tripp, a world leading researcher of women’s movements, who explains why there are more women in parliament than ever before, and the role that gender quotas have played in this trend. We also discuss why some authoritarian governments have gone to greater lengths to promote women’s representation than their democratic counterparts, and whether this is simply a PR exercise or reflects a deeper commitment to equality.

Aili Mari Tripp is the Vilas Research Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the world’s leading researchers on women’s movements and political representation. She has written seven books and co-edited seven more, many of which have won awards, and all of which have demonstrated the complexities of women’s struggle for equality, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Her most recent work focusses on women’s representation under authoritarian rule.

Nic Cheeseman is the Professor of Democracy and International Development at the University of Birmingham and Founding Director of CEDAR.

The People, Power, Politics podcast brings you the latest insights into the factors that are shaping and re-shaping our political world. It is brought to you by the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR) based at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Join us to better understand the factors that promote and undermine democratic government around the world and follow us on Twitter at @CEDAR_Bham!

Your Host

Nic Cheeseman

Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham. He has won a number of awards and prizes including the Joni Lovenduski Prize of the Political Science Association of the UK for outstanding professional achievement and the Economic and Social Research Council prize for “outstanding international impact”. Professor Cheeseman is also the author or editor of more than ten books, including How to Rig an Election (2018) – selected as one of the books of the year by the Spectator magazine. A frequent commentator democracy, elections and global events, his analysis has appeared in the Economist, Le Monde, Financial Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, Daily Nation and he writes a regular column for the Africa Report.

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