When Do Women Represent Women? Variation in Substantive Representation in
Most of the research that has focused on women's legislative behavior has focused on the ways in which men and women legislate differently. Specifically, this research has focused on the degree to which women initiate policies that benefit women's in comparison to men in the legislature. However, there is considerable variation women's substantive representation among women legislators with some women advocating on behalf of women in their policy work while others do not. Little work has been done to explore this variation among women. This is especially important as recent increases in women’s legislative presence globally have also meant greater diversity among women across several dimensions. My dissertation seeks to explain variation in women's substantive representation among women legislators by examining how this individual variation affects the ways in which elected women advocate on behalf of women's interests. Specifically, I argue that diversity across three dimensions--constituent preferences and ideology, political career security, and positions of institutional power within the legislatures--should explain variation in representing women’s rights legislation among women in office. I examine this question comparatively across Argentina (1983-2015) and Peru (1995-2016) to exploit institutional variation between these two legislatures. This allows me to examine the ways in which institutional contexts condition women's legislative behavior.
*This research is supported by Rice University's Doerr Institute and Social Sciences Research Institute .