Women Cabinet Ministers and Female-Friendly Social Policy
A growing literature indicates that the representation of women in legislatures is positively associated with the passage of female-friendly social policy. However, there is little corresponding research concerning the effect of women in cabinet on female-friendly social policy. Yet, almost all advanced industrial democracies are parliamentary democracies, where policies typically originate within the cabinet and governments typically enjoy substantial control over the legislative process. Thus, to the extent that women promote female-friendly policy, women in cabinet positions should be ideally placed to do so, and indeed, possibly be more influential than women in legislatures. We find significant support for this argument in analyses of state guaranteed leave entitlement, in eighteen parliamentary democracies from 1980-2003.
Amy Atchison and Ian Down. "Women Cabinet Ministers and Female-Friendly Social Policy" Poverty & Public Policy 1.2 (2011).
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