Chapter

Preferences and Priorities

Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

in Political Power and Women’s Representation in Latin America

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731954
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866571 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731954.003.0003
Preferences and Priorities

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The political preferences that legislators bring to the legislative arena are an important dimension of substantive representation and help explain how legislators behave in office. Using an original survey of legislators in Argentina, Colombia, and Costa Rica, this chapter shows that female representatives place a higher priority than do men on representing female constituents, women’s groups, and women’s equality issues. At the same time, female legislators’ special attention to women and women’s issues does not detract from the importance they place on other issues and constituencies in any of the three countries. Male and female representatives elected to office in Latin America have very similar political attitudes on a wide range of issues, particularly those that traditionally have been considered to be women’s domain or men’s domain issues. Women represent women but place high priority on non-women-specific issues and constituencies as well.

Keywords: women; substantive representation; Latin America; preferences; attitudes; women’s issues; Argentina; Colombia; Costa Rica

Chapter.  7645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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