Policy Priorities and Women’s Double Bind in Brazil

Luis Felipe Miguel

in The Impact of Gender Quotas

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199830091
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932924 | DOI:
Policy Priorities and Women’s Double Bind in Brazil

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This chapter examines the behavior of female deputies elected under Brazil’s legislative quota. Studying committee membership, bill introduction, and parliamentary discourses, Luis Felipe Miguel exposes how quotas exploit, but also reinforce, stereotypes linking women to “social issues.” This both informs but also potentially devalues women’s legislative work. On the one hand, the evidence shows that female MPs—all of whom are quota women—give greater priority to social and women’s rights issues than do their male counterparts. On the other hand, Miguel finds that women remain absent from positions of political influence and that, according to some data, women are less successful in passing their legislative initiatives than are men. Quotas thus produce a “double bind”: female legislators’ choices to focus on women’s rights and social issues may undercut their ability to amass the political clout needed to legislate successfully.

Keywords: gender quotas; legislative quota; legislative behavior; policy-making; parliamentary committees; parliamentary debates; Brazil

Chapter.  7845 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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