Gender Quotas and the Gender Gap in France and Uruguay

Miki Caul Kittilson and Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

in The Gendered Effects of Electoral Institutions

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199608607
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745799 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Gender Quotas and the Gender Gap in France and Uruguay

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Chapter 6 focuses on two recent cases of gender quota adoption—France and Uruguay. Scholars have highlighted the symbolic roles that quotas can play in increasing a country’s democratic legitimacy or increasing fairness and justice in society. The gender gap in political involvement is examined before and after the adoption of quotas in France and Uruguay. France adopted a “Parity Law” in 2000, and Uruguay adopted gender quotas in 2009. Drawing on the French Election Studies, the Eurobarometer, and the Americas Barometer, the results reveal that gender quotas had very little effect on women’s political involvement at the mass level. Quotas actually have corresponded with very few significant changes in mass political involvement in these two countries, despite the fact that quotas may symbolize the inclusiveness and representativeness of the political system. This complements the relatively minimal findings for gender quotas in the cross-national analyses, as well.

Keywords: France; Uruguay; gender quotas; political involvement; women

Chapter.  8193 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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