Both presence and numbers matter for another critically important reason: Having significant numbers of women in parliament sends a loud and clear signal to all citizens that women have a proper place in the halls of power. This is particularly important when battling historically entrenched ideas. As democratic theorist Jane Mansbridge points out, this signalling effect goes far beyond mere symbolism. In societies where women have been historically excluded from the franchise (as in Kenya during colonial times), and then excluded from positions of responsibility (as in Kenya today), bringing women’s representation above the “critical mass” threshold makes it unambiguous that women can no longer be treated as second-class citizens.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Women's political opportunities in Kenya
WAPPP faculty adviser, Jane Mansbridge's, work is cited in the East African article, "Wanjiku’s Parliament Part II: Why should women’s representation matter?" about the future of women's political opportunities in Kenya.