This thesis analyzes the effects of federalism on promoting gender representation in parliaments using the case of Germany. There is no country in the world where women and men are equally represented in politics. Discrepancies in representation may stem from historical, cultural, institutional, or structural facets. One little discussed possibility is that of governmental institutions, particularly, the federalist structure of government. Theoretically, federalism should encourage minorities, including women, to be elected to parliaments at a higher rate than in unitary states because it allows additional layer of access to and entry into elected office. By investigating the proportions of women in parliament at different levels of government, we can identify the effects of the federalist structure on advancing womenâ€™s representation. The German federalist system is analyzed at three different levels: the sub-national (Lander), national (the Bundestag), and supra-national (European Parliament) level to assess whether the federal structure affects the level of representation by providing a funnel effect. The thesis also analyzed the importance of voluntary gender quotas adopted by many of the political parties on mitigating the effect of federalism. The final results of federalism as it related to gender equality in parliaments were inconclusive as the effects could not be clearly separated from those of gender quotas for the case of Germany.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Comfort, Christine M., "The Effects of Federalism on Women's Political Representation: A Case Study of German Federalism" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1525.