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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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Women’s Empowerment and Cultural Change in Rwanda

Women’s Empowerment and Cultural Change in Rwanda

(p.190) 12 Women’s Empowerment and Cultural Change in Rwanda
The Impact of Gender Quotas

Jennie Burnet

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses trends among ordinary people, but suggests an alternative method for establishing causality between quotas and changes in citizens’ beliefs. Jennie Burnet’s fieldwork on reserved seats and legislative quotas in Rwanda indicates that quotas have encouraged women to participate more actively in community life, work outside the home, speak in public meetings, and demand greater equality in their intimate relationships. Yet these dramatic cultural shifts in women’s roles have caused indignation among men, many of whom resist the quotas’ ability to redefine gender roles, leading them to express resentment as women become more empowered. Burnet consequently demonstrates that quotas can be part of broad processes of cultural change and that men and women may experience these ideological transformations quite differently.

Keywords:   gender quotas, reserved seats, legislative quota, political engagement, cultural change, Rwanda

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