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Gender equality in parliaments - where do we stand in Europe? Considerations from the economic development and society’s masculinity index point of view

Joanna Hernik orcid id ; West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Faculty of Economics, Szczecin, Poland
Antonio Minguez Vera orcid id ; University of Murcia, Faculty of Economics and Business, Murcia, Spain

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 425 Kb

str. 83-99

preuzimanja: 287



It is often emphasized in literature that women constitute half of all societies, but their needs and rights are not reflected in social decisions. The UN and other international institutions aim at changing the position of women in the world, which was reflected in the so called Millennium Development Goals, and currently in the Sustainable Development Goals, one of the latter being promoting gender equality and empowering women. Authors of gender and development literature often write about women as an untapped factor of economic growth. In this paper, we want to reverse the point of view and look at women whose activity is conditioned by the economic development of the country. Therefore, this article presents a certain diagnosis of the current state, but on the other hand, it looks for an explanation of some dependencies.
Today, the reasons for women’s presence or absence in politics are unclear; therefore, we want to inspect the basic determinants, which, in our opinion, are the wealth of the society and its character (masculinity vs. femininity). Consequently, the aim of the following article is to determine women’s participation in European parliaments and to verify the hypothesis that the presence of women in European parliaments is directly proportional to the economic development, measured by GDP per capita. Apart from the main hypothesis, the auxiliary one regarding the masculinity of society is also examined (Hofstede model).
The conducted analysis allows us to conclude that the participation of women in European parliaments remains low and it is on average 28.04%, and no European country reached 50%. The calculations confirmed the statistical significance of both hypotheses, so we can say that the presence of women in European parliaments depends on the economic development of a given country and the type of society. These determinants are difficult to change, which is why Europe is facing further challenges. It is obvious that changes occur relatively slowly (although the upward trend is visible) and have their causes. Our analyses show that the main ones include the level of economic development and the nature of society. No relationship was found between the number of women in parliaments and other economic factors, such as unemployment.

Ključne riječi

Europe; economic development; gender equality; Hofstede index; parliamentary elections; Sustainable Development Goals

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