Chapter

Denmark: High Representation of Women without Gender Quotas

Drude Dahlerup

in Breaking Male Dominance in Old Democracies

Published in print June 2013 | ISBN: 9780199653898
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191751578 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653898.003.0007
Denmark: High Representation of Women without Gender Quotas

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‘When I entered parliament [in 1969] it went without saying that a woman MP could not expect to get a leadership position’, a female member of parliament recollects. Fifty years later, half of the Danish party leaders are women. This chapter analyses how this fundamental change came about, looking at the actors, the institutions, and the changing discourses. It is argued that the rapid engendering of Danish politics during the 1970 and 1980s was spurred on by a special combination of the new, radical, grassroots feminist movement and moderate feminists active both inside and outside of the political parties. This chapter discusses why in the 1990s women’s political representation in Denmark, once among the highest in the world, began to stagnate and why quotas have been so unpopular. The stagnation is discussed in the light of the heated debates over immigration and Islam in the 2000s.

Keywords: Denmark; engendering; social democrats; Socialist People’s Party; feminist movements

Chapter.  11120 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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