Chapter

Paradoxes in the Meaning of Quotas in Belgium

Petra Meier

in The Impact of Gender Quotas

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199830091
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932924 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199830091.003.0010
Paradoxes in the Meaning of Quotas in Belgium

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This chapter focuses on the extent to which party and legislative quotas in Belgium have altered the beliefs and actions of political elites. Capitalizing on the opportunity to design her own survey, Petra Meier asks specific questions about whether quotas have caused party officials to rethink the importance of gender equality and to recognize a “gender equal public space.” She finds that, whereas female politicians believe the quota coincides with, and deepens, the democratic foundations of the Belgian state, male politicians believe precisely the opposite. Meier then analyzes party statutes, linking male politicians’ disapproval of quotas to the failure to incorporate greater commitments to women’s equality into party documents. The chapter therefore highlights how men and women may think differently about under-representation and discrimination and illustrates how the introduction of a quota may actually aggravate such disagreements.

Keywords: gender quotas; legislative quota; elite attitudes; gender equality; political parties; gender gap; Belgium

Chapter.  7947 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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