When Do Women Represent Women? Variation in Substantive Representation in
Most of the research 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 address women’s rights issues 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. This project explains variation in women's substantive representation among women legislators. I examine how individual variation across certain dimensions affects the opportunities and constraints that elected women face in legislating on behalf of women's interests. Specifically, I argue that variation across three dimensions--constituent preferences and party ideology, political career security, and positions of institutional power within the legislature--should explain variation in the representation of women’s rights issues among women in office. I examine this question comparatively across Argentina (1983-2013) and Peru (1995-2016).
*This research is supported by Rice University's Doerr Institute and Social Sciences Research Institute .