Salem College professor of public policy, Jennifer M. Piscopo, co-edited the recently released book, The Impact of Gender Quotas. Published by Oxford University Press, the book is a theory-building and comparative exercise in elaborating concepts commonly used to analyze the broad impacts of gender quotas. It begins with the argument that the means by which women enter politics may influence how, why and to what extent their presence affects political representation and uses case studies from 12 countries to build broad theories about gender quotas and women’s representation.
Anne-Marie Goetz, Chief Advisor of Governance, Peace and Security, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, says of the book: “This impressive edited collection greatly advances the field of electoral quota research. The unmistakable conclusion is that gender quotas will not work to shift the quality of public decision-making towards advancing women’s interests unless grounded in two crucial political evolutions. The first is the emergence of a political constituency with the commitment and capacity to hold politicians of whatever gender to account for performance on women’s rights. The second is political party leadership willing to make women’s participation and gender equality principles non-negotiable in public decision-making. Though sobering, the authors are right. There are two clear paths for realizing women’s rights: strengthening women’s autonomous organizing, and building the accountability and transparency of decision-making in political parties.”