Presidential Gender and Women’s Representation in Cabinets: Do Female Presidents Appoint More Women Than Male Presidents?
51 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Do female presidents appoint more women to their cabinets than male presidents? I argue that female presidents are more likely to name more female ministers only when they govern countries that already are on the path towards greater gender equality in the cabinet. This paper uses an original dataset of 1,086 ministers from inaugural presidential cabinets in 18 Latin American countries from 1999-2013. The results of logistic regression show that presidential gender has a significant effect on the probability of observing a female minister, and the magnitude of this effect depends on country-specific levels of cabinet gender inequality. The final section explores extreme cases of female presidents (1) accommodating to the status quo (Cristina Fernández in Argentina 2007); and (2) challenging conventions by promoting gender parity in the cabinet (Michelle Bachelet in Chile 2006). Using statistics and qualitative analysis in a synergistic fashion, this paper thus features a “nested research design” (Lieberman 2005).
Keywords: female presidents, women’s representation, presidential cabinets, Latin America, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Michelle Bachelet
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