The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Intersecting identities, divergent views: interpreting the experiences of women politicians in the Pacific islands

Intersecting identities, divergent views: interpreting the experiences of women politicians in the Pacific islands
Intersecting identities, divergent views: interpreting the experiences of women politicians in the Pacific islands
Anecdotally, it is assumed that the factors that constrain women from entering parliament spill over into the way they experience holding public office, thus limiting their influence. Drawing on in-depth biographical interviews and other publically available materials we test this supposition by investigating the experiences of women who have served in parliament in the Pacific Islands, a region famous for its low levels of women's representation. We ask if and how women see their gender as influencing their parliamentary roles. We identify two narratives. The first aligns with the orthodox assumption where prevailing patriarchal norms stymie the influence of women MPs. The second, however, is a counternarrative that defies the conventional reading and instead posits that gender matters little once inside parliament with MPs, highlighting the importance of other identities—family, community, religious, etc.—to their constituent representation and reelection campaigns. In turn, women MPs who hold to this latter perspective are often critical of what they see as the imposition of gender norms by foreign donors. Employing the concept intersectionality allows us to simultaneously acknowledge and problematize this duality, thus providing a more nuanced reading of the impact of gender on parliamentary life in the Pacific region.
1743-923X
320-344
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Liki, Asenati
2be34038-aa78-4bbf-843c-31665359702c
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Liki, Asenati
2be34038-aa78-4bbf-843c-31665359702c

Corbett, Jack and Liki, Asenati (2015) Intersecting identities, divergent views: interpreting the experiences of women politicians in the Pacific islands. Politics and Gender, 11 (2), 320-344. (doi:10.1017/S1743923X15000057).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Anecdotally, it is assumed that the factors that constrain women from entering parliament spill over into the way they experience holding public office, thus limiting their influence. Drawing on in-depth biographical interviews and other publically available materials we test this supposition by investigating the experiences of women who have served in parliament in the Pacific Islands, a region famous for its low levels of women's representation. We ask if and how women see their gender as influencing their parliamentary roles. We identify two narratives. The first aligns with the orthodox assumption where prevailing patriarchal norms stymie the influence of women MPs. The second, however, is a counternarrative that defies the conventional reading and instead posits that gender matters little once inside parliament with MPs, highlighting the importance of other identities—family, community, religious, etc.—to their constituent representation and reelection campaigns. In turn, women MPs who hold to this latter perspective are often critical of what they see as the imposition of gender norms by foreign donors. Employing the concept intersectionality allows us to simultaneously acknowledge and problematize this duality, thus providing a more nuanced reading of the impact of gender on parliamentary life in the Pacific region.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 26 May 2015
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388378
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388378
ISSN: 1743-923X
PURE UUID: c1ab42c7-9bf9-4461-84b2-2246f3fc0695
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Feb 2016 12:59
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:50

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Jack Corbett ORCID iD
Author: Asenati Liki

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×