Women and citizens of immigrant origin (CIOs) are underrepresented in many national parliaments in Europe. Both groups encounter specific barriers in politics and as a result have fewer opportunities to gain access to political power. Does this also mean that women of immigrant origin, because they are women and have a migrant background, encounter double barriers in politics? The evidence is mixed: in some countries, like the UK, there are indeed more male CIOs in parliament; in other countries, like Belgium, it is the other way around. That raises two questions. First, what explains differences in the parliamentary presence of male and female CIOs in Europe? And second, what do such ‘gendered’ patterns tell us about the nature and meaning of CIOs’ representation itself? In order to answer these questions, we make an inventory of the numbers of male and female CIOs in 8 national parliaments in Europe from 1991 onwards. We will then study, based on statistical analyses, to what extent and how differences in institutional, societal, immigrant and party contexts explain differences in the gender ratio among elected CIOs. For this quantitative study the project develops and tests a set of new hypotheses. These are next also further studied by conducting interviews with carefully selected party officials to better understand what causes a specific gender (im)balance, and to uncover new explanations for the (gendered) nature of CIOs’ political representation.
Effective start/end date1/01/1731/12/20

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Political theory and methodology not elsewhere classified

    Research areas

  • citizens of immigrant origin

ID: 28460180