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  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: Add Women And Stir?

    At the Millennium Summit world leaders committed to reducing extreme poverty through a series of targets encompassed within the MDGs, with a deadline of 2015. One of these was to promote gender equality and empower women, and the ‘proportion of seats held by women in national parliament’ was set as a key indicator. With the MDG Review Summit meeting in September 2010, this is an opportunity to consider whether the proportion of women in parliament continues to be the most adequate proxy for women’s political empowerment. This IDS Bulletin explores what the quota has meant as a motorway to women’s accession to political power by drawing on research findings from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (‘Pathways’), as well as a series of articles from a special seminar in the Brazilian National Congress as part of this programme, and contributions from other country case studies. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Limits Of Women's Quotas In Brazil

    In this article, I examine the case of Brazil which, unlike many other Latin American countries, is an example of where quotas are not working. Drawing on over ten years of research and exploring the dynamics of a varied group of political parties, I contest that male resistance is not the only reason behind this failure. Vagueness around the quota law and a lack of sanctions, together with the elitist nature of politics in Brazil are all contributing factors. My research has also revealed a few anomalies, showing that contrary to much of the literature, women would seem to fare better in elections within less developed and smaller states in Brazil. …