Women's substantive representation: ‘for women’ but not by women

Evans Elizabeth

in Women and the Liberal Democrats

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719083471
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702277 | DOI:
Women's substantive representation: ‘for women’ but not by women

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The substantive representation of women refers to the representation of women's interests. This chapter examines how and in what ways the Liberal Democrats substantively represents women and looks at the substantive impact women have on the style of politics. From a normative feminist perspective, the Liberal Democrats' substantive representation of women raises some difficult questions. Namely, if the evidence shows that despite having a persistently low number of women MPs the Liberal Democrats are substantively representing women, what impact might this have upon the party's response to the issue of women's descriptive representation? In addition to arguments for justice, calls for greater numbers of women parliamentarians can also be made on the basis of claims that women MPs act on behalf of women. Work on the substantive representation of women's issues or concerns tends to include the following policy areas: abortion, childcare, constitutional equality guarantees, divorce, domestic violence, equal pay, family issues, parental leave, pensions, rape, reproductive rights, women as carers, women's health and work/life balance.

Keywords: Liberal Democrats; women MPs; descriptive representation; women; women's interests; substantive representation; policy areas; equality guarantees

Chapter.  9212 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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