Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Crawling out of the the ghetto: Explaining continued underrepresentation of women in power


Political Science Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Social and Behavioral Sciences


Scholars such as Debra Spar (2012) have referred to the continued underrepresentation of women in power as the ghetto, while others (Skidmore 2003) have expressed optimism that the number of women in national legislatures is growing, albeit very slowly. In 2013, women hold a totally of twenty percent of legislative seats in 190 countries. This paper examines recent data from the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and evaluates competing explanations for the continued underrepresentation of women in national parliaments. This research cites socio-cultural, institutional, and economic explanations for the small number of women in national office. Next I present findings that demonstrate the policy implications of the low numbers of women in office. I propose two new explanations for the marginalization of women in politics and conclude with an agenda for research on this question. I also serve on the Governing Council for the ISA Midwest. As such, I attend the meetings in order to help plan the ISA Midwest activities. We award prizes, vote on new leaderships, and carry out other relevant business. Another reason I am attending is to accompany two GVSU undergraduates who will also be presenting their research at this conference.

Conference Name

Annual Conference

Conference Location

St. Louis, Missouri

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