Feminists have long argued that the presence of women in politics provides a means of articulating women’s perspectives and issues. As the number of female MPs increases, it is often claimed that the nature of politics itself will be transformed. But are we really witnessing the feminization of politics? Do women make a difference to political life and, if so, under what circumstances? In this fascinating new book, Joni Lovenduski seeks to answer these questions by exploring the changes in the political representation of women since the 1960s. Focusing primarily on the UK, but drawing on examples from other political systems, Lovenduski goes on to consider how institutions, processes and procedures are affected by the changing number of women in politics. She explores what is at stake when we try to achieve equality of women and men in public office, and draws out the ways in which the constraints and possibilities for political action are gendered.
Feminizing Politics makes a vital contribution to debates about the role of women in politics today. It will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics and gender studies as well as the interested general reader.