Devolved Governance and the Substantive Representation of Women: The Second Term of the National Assembly for Wales, 2003-2007
Posted: 5 Aug 2009
Date Written: April 2008
The UK's devolution programme in the 1990s was, in part, predicated upon ideas of ‘inclusiveness’ and overturning the traditional male domination of politics. Whilst attention has tended to focus on the increase in the numbers of women elected representatives, comparatively less focus has been placed upon the impact of devolution on women's substantive representation-or the situation whereby women's needs and concerns are reflected in public policy. This paper examines the case of the National Assembly for Wales. It concludes that while the link between women's presence as elected representatives and substantive representation is complex and mediated by a range of factors, probabilistically women are more likely than their male counterparts to use the institutional mechanisms of devolved governance in order to promote gender equality in policy and law.
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