Increasing women’s political representation: the limits of constitutional reform
West European Politics, 27, (1), . (doi:10.1080/01402380412331280823).
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In 1999 and 2000 the French parliament passed a constitutional revision and a set of legislation with the aim of achieving parity of representation between men and women in France's elected assemblies. France was the first country in Europe to institute such radical reform to address the issue of women's under-representation in politics. The success of the parity reforms in achieving equal representation for women has been limited, however. This paper will discuss how and why the issue of parity progressed onto the French political agenda, and will identify the main factors which have limited the impact of these reforms. It will be argued that both the electoral system and the attitudes of political parties remain important obstacles to achieving true parity in elected institutions.
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