Women+and+political+representation by mestisa

VIEWS: 33 PAGES: 26

									Women and political representation
From Rhetoric to Practice: Investigating the gaps between design and implementation in gender equality policies
Giovanna Declich, ASDO June 3rd, 2007

The stake (1): Effectiveness and relevance of policies addressing the gender gap in the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All
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WG 3/a “will investigate the ways the gap between design and implementation are created and aim at better understanding what policy mechanisms as well as theoretical assumptions should be integrated in the process in order to reduce the (gender) gap”
We know all too well that the issue of Equal Opportunities is multifaceted. It is thus necessary to face it by the adoption of diversified points of view and tools, both of a scientific and a political nature.
Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007 2

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The stake (2): Effectiveness and relevance of policies addressing the gender gap in the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All
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The Equal Opportunities concept (even though we are now specifically addressing gender) is a complex one, referring to a manifold reality (multiple identities, lack of common points of reference and shared goals)

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That’s why it is difficult to assess women’s real situation and advancement (the media, above all, tend to oscillate between moments of unrestrained optimism and the darkest pessimism) Politics play in any case a key role. That’s the reason behind ASDO’s research and project on women in politics.
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Two risks to be avoided, in research as in policy design
Confronting “the obvious that doesn’t change” (to cite a slogan that titled a beautiful book on women in politics, by Italian psycho-analyst Francesca Molfino), two specular risks have to be avoided:
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Thinking we know it all Starting from scratch each time, wasting decades of scientific literature and knowledge produced by women’s movements’ concrete action all over the world.
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ASDO’s project on women in politics (ESF/Equal budget line)
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Duration: 2 years and a half (now in second year) Research: 1st year and throughout the project. Research tools
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation on 2006 Italian political elections Survey on political women experience and attitudes Observation of experimental micro-projects

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Experimentation: 6 micro-projects to tackle emerging problems Public communication and networking activities (newsletter, seminars, public meetings etc.).
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Research outputs - 1
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

The notion of “diffused vertical segregation”
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Vertical segregation is a global phenomenon It affects every area of political, professional and social life It affects every level of power
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

Under-representation is a global problem: some examples
(Lower/single houses)

AREA Americas

% 20,0

AREA Pacific

% 12,4

Europe (OSCE) Sub-Saharan Africa Asia

19,8
17,4 16,5

Arab States

9,5

World average

17,3
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

More examples: the paradox of G8 countries (Lower/single houses)
COUNTRY Germany Canada United Kingdom Italy United States % 31,6 20,8 19,7 17,3 16,3 COUNTRY France Russian federation Japan % 12,2 9,8 9,4

G8 average

17,1
8

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

More examples: European champions and poor performers...
(Lower/single houses)

COUNTRY Sweden Finland Norway Denmark

% 47,3 42,0 37,9 36,9

COUNTRY United Kingdom Italy Ireland Greece

% 19,7 17,3 13,3 13,0

Spain

36,0

France

12,2
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

But all countries are performing poorly at the local level (Women mayors)
COUNTRY Sweden % 20,0 COUNTRY Greece % 10,0

Norway
Spain

16,8
12,4

Italy
Denmark

9,6
9,2

Finland

10,0

Germany

5,1

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Segregation affects every area of life: examples
POSITION
General directors of public health services (ITALY) University full professors (NETHERLANDS) Board members of largest European Union enterprises (50 largest enterprises for each of the 25 EU COUNTRIES) Highest-level public officials (SPAIN) High Court judges (UNITED KINGDOM) Members of the Executive Board of the Central Bank (AUSTRIA) Members of the Executive Board of national television networks (FRANCE)
Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

% 6,0 9,4 3,0 4,7 6,5 6,0 6,2
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Segregation affects every level of power (ITALY)
POSITION
Presidents of municipal administrative sub-units Mayors in towns with less than 500 inhabitants Members of major trade unions’ regional-level secretariats Tribunal judges (presidents) Tribunal judges (presidents of division) Head physicians in hospital wards Newspapers’ managing editors

% 10,2 11,3 8,3 2,7

16,5 10,8 7,7
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

Research outputs - 2
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental micro-projects

A taxonomy of factors affecting women’s success in politics (all crucial)
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Diffused vertical segregation Discordance in the exercise of political power Lack of mobilization Material constraints Normative and behavioral inertia Biographical tangles Ambiguity of public opinion Irresolution and lack of empowerment
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

Research outputs - 3
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Questions we asked ourselves at this point:
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Why women are so few even in countries where cultural attitudes favor gender equality? Why do they face so many obstacles, leading to their virtual exclusion? A lack of socialization of gender in the public sphere? How do women react to this “social void?”
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

Research outputs - 4
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 Differences among Statistical data collection women Review of previous  Two different sources (268 studies local-level political and trade Observation of 2006 union women activists; 94 national-level political and trade Italian elections union women representatives) Survey on political women’s experience  The weight of objective factors and attitudes  Women’s reactions and Observation of subjective attitudes experimental micro The success-failure variable projects
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The weight of obstacle factors

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Research outputs - 5
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Different types of reactions:
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Perceiving diversity Sociopoietic effort Personal life choices Preferred solutions
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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

Research outputs - 6
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Perceiving diversity:
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Feeling extraneous Critical approach Constructive approach

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Research outputs - 7
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Sociopoietic effort:
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Belief in the added value of women in politics Public negotiation Private negotiation

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Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Research outputs – 8
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Personal life choices:
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Political dynamism Care Other dimensions in life

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Research outputs - 9
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Statistical data collection Review of previous studies Observation of 2006 Italian elections Survey on political women’s experience and attitudes Observation of experimental microprojects

Preferred solutions:
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Institutional approach

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Collective approach
Individual approach

Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007

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Research outputs - 10
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Different attitudes produce different degrees of resistance by the political male-dominated environment. Most controversial attitudes have turned out being:
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Feeling extraneous Critical approach Belief in women’s added value in politics Public negotiation Private negotiation

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Other attitudes produce resistance when connected with one another (e.g. political dynamism and care)
Women and political representation - ASDO, June 2007 22

Some practical implications of research outputs
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Potential for change implied by women’s presence in political institutions is diversified: impact does not automatically rise with increased numbers However, most women’s actions have the potential to challenge male-dominated institutions, albeit to different degrees It is important to fight exclusionary factors, through legislative and policy interventions, but it is equally important doing so while fostering women’s attitudes conducive to change
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Objective factors

Subjective attitudes

Discordance Lack of mobilization Material Constraints Normative and behavioral inertia Biographical tangles Ambiguity of public opinion Irresolution Diffused vertical segregation

Feeling extraneous Critical approach Belief in women’s added value Public negotiation Private negotiation Political dynamism Care Constructive approach

To conclude…
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Empowerment is crucial to strengthen attitudes more directly challenging the status quo and thus socializing gender difference in the political arena, both for women already in politics, and for those that are not and young girls, who could contribute a lot to change by bringing in their different approaches and experiences. The project experimental activities move in this direction: linking different power levels, practices and generations to promote change. The results of the experimentation and of the whole project will conduct to the final drafting of guidelines for fostering women political participation.
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Experimental activities underway
The 6 micro-projects deal with (in brackets the promoters)
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Women’s empowerment for political leadership in the Latium regional administration (ALEF, women association) Negotiation for women’s leadership in largest chemical and textile Italian trade unions (FILTEA, national trade union) Mentoring program for women in local branches of an Italian nationallevel party (MARGOWEB, local club of a political party) Helping elected women in municipal administrations (Rome province) to link with their constituencies and effectively address women’s priorities, enhancing participation (ASPETTARE STANCA, women association) Migrant women and reconciliation issues for enlarging participation to grassroots political movements and associations in Rome (DS VIII MUNICIPIO, local federation of a political party) Promoting women in middle-level positions in a national-level Italian trade union (CISL, regional federation of a trade union)
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