So close but still too far away from power ? Unveiling women’s careers in the European Parliament

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Résumé

Since its constitution in 1979, the composition of the European Parliament (EP) has changed considerably. One notable evolution is the progressive but steady increase in the number of female MEPs: between 1979 and 2019 this number has risen from 15.2percent to 39.5percent. Therefore, the EP is defined in the literature as one of the most feminized Parliaments in Europe. But we find a gap in the literature when it comes to career chances of specifically female MEPs. Studying female MEPs in top positions in the European Parliament between 1994 and 2021, we raise the question to which extent women are granted access to rapporteurships and committee chairs in the EP over time. Leading questions are: Did the number of women in top positions change over time accordingly with the increase of their overall number in Parliament? And do group membership, member state affiliation, political experience and time influence the chances of women of women over time?
To answer this, a unique dataset has been created which covers all MEPs in top positions in the EP including their pre and post EP offices as well as the political career within the EP itself. Top positions studied in this paper are committee chairs and rapporteurs (N = 3654 MEPs). The paper analyses the access to these positions based on four explanatory levels: party, country, individual political experience and time. The results of the multivariate regression and survival analysis show that there is even a slight overrepresentation of female rapporteurs. More generally, we find no statistically significant difference between men and women when it comes to the allocation to committee chairs but female MEPs from larger member states are more likely to get one than women from smaller member states.
langue originaleAnglais
Pages1-27
Etat de la publicationPublié - 6 juil. 2022
EvénementEuropean Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG) - University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovénie
Durée: 6 juil. 20228 juil. 2022

Une conférence

Une conférenceEuropean Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG)
Pays/TerritoireSlovénie
La villeLjubljana
période6/07/228/07/22

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