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POLI-1007EL Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Theresa May, White Ribbon Campaign, Post-Structuralism

Political Science / Science politique
Course Code
Michael Johns
Study Guide

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Gender and politics
What are gendered organisations?
“To say that an organization, or any other analytic unit, is gendered means that advantage and
disadvantage, exploitation and control, action and emotion, are patterned through and in terms of a
distinction between male and female, masculine and feminine. Gender is not an addition to ongoing
processes, conceived as gender neutral. Rather, it is an integral part of those processes, which cannot
properly understood without an analysis of gender” (p. 146).
Joan Acker, Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations. Gender & Society, 1990, 4 (2), 139-158
Organisational structures and organisational cultures
Organisational Structures
o Recruitment and selection procedures
o Promotion: Glass ceiling, glass escalators and glass cliffs
Organisational Culture
o Informal networks
o Role of mother/parenthood
o Assumptions about rationality
o Organisational rituals, traditional (white) cultures
o Communication and language (metaphors of sport or military)
Gender, power and organisation
Organisations systematise power relations
Individually, collectively, through discourse
Organisational power - gendered power relations
Liberal, structural and post-structuralist perspectives
Susan Halford and Pauline Leonard, Gender, Power and Organisations (2001)
Challenging gendered organisations
Individual challenge
Collective challenges
Legislative challenges
Organizational challenges
Women in British politics
1918 restricted right to vote for women
o 1919 first women member of parliament
1928 women granted vote on same terms as men
o 1929 first female Cabinet Minister
o 1918 1924 never more than 8 women mps
o 1929 1955 never more than 24 women mps
o 1975 Thatcher first woman party leader
o 1979 Thatcher first woman prime minister
o 1997 120 women mps, 5 women in Cabinet
o 2010 143 women mps (Cabinet: 19 men, 4 women)
o 2015 191 women mps (29.4%) (Upper House 24.6%)
o 2016 Theresa May becomes prime minister
UK: restricted right to vote: over 30, householders, married to householders or holding a university degree
Civil, political & Social rights Gendered Citizenship
Citizenship (or civil) rights
o Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Assembly
Political rights
o Right to vote, right to stand for office
Social rights
o Education, housing, pensions, sick leave and unemployment support, parental leave provisions
Gendered citizenship
Autonomy: freedom to make life choices and freedom of movement
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Violence and physical domination
Reproductive rights
Women’s interests: Women’s rights, Social policy issues, Constituency case-work, Positive
discrimination/affirmative action, Better childcare provision, Increasing proportion of women in parliament,
Sexual harassment
Gender differences in political participation
Men in national parliaments in 2019 (2011)
Explanations for women’s under-representation
Women’s greater household and caring responsibilities
Concentration in low-status, low-paying occupations results in lack of resources
Under-representation in ‘brokerage-jobs’ such as barristers, journalists, lecturers, political researchers
Male dominated environment
o Long hours, Meetings in pubs, Sexual harassment
Women’s disinterest in politics
o ‘womens’ issues not seen as important
Organised efforts to increase women’s participation
Internal changes in the Labour Party
o Formation of Women’s Action Committees (WAC) in early 1980s
o Equal Rights Committee in the Trade Union Congress
o Creation of Shadow Ministry for Women (1989)
o Creation of Emily’s List in early 1990s
o 300 group (aim: half of the seats of House of Commons held by women)
o Adoption of quotas (positive action)
Percentage of Women Elected to House of Commons, by Party 1970 2019
House of commons, by gender and party, 2019
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