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The Impact of Gender Quotas$
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Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook, and Jennifer M. Piscopo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199830091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199830091.001.0001

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Party Centralization and Debate Conditions in South Africa

Party Centralization and Debate Conditions in South Africa

(p.119) 8 Party Centralization and Debate Conditions in South Africa
The Impact of Gender Quotas

Denise Walsh

Oxford University Press

This chapter 8 explores the substantive effects of the party quota adopted by the leading party in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC). Scrutinizing women’s rights initiatives in the first two post-apartheid parliaments, Denise Walsh discovers a disconnect between women’s “access” and “voice,” noting that as the numbers of women in parliament have increased, the opportunities for pursuing women-friendly legislation have declined. The data suggest that these outcomes are directly related to the ANC’s quota policy: in the second parliament, the quota allowed ANC leaders to handpick women who would toe the party line, allowing leaders to centralize their power while reinforcing the perception that the ANC was committed to women’s equality. Consequently, the ability of female MPs to advance women’s rights was undermined by an increasingly dominant executive that became emboldened to ignore women’s rights while “hiding” behind the quota.

Keywords:   gender quotas, party quota, legislative behavior, policy-making, dominant party, South Africa

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