We would like to thank Lisa Baldez, Mark Jones, Rick Matland, Scott Morgenstern, Peter Siavelis, and Donley Studlar for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article and assistance with country-specific and more general questions. In addition, we thank Brian Crisp and Mark Jones for allowing us to use committee data they collected in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. National Science Foundation Grant # Y460895 funded collection of the data used here.
Women on the Sidelines: Women's Representation on Committees in Latin American Legislatures
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2005
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 49, Issue 2, pages 420–436, April 2005
How to Cite
Michelle Heath, R., Schwindt-Bayer, L. A. and Taylor-Robinson, M. M. (2005), Women on the Sidelines: Women's Representation on Committees in Latin American Legislatures. American Journal of Political Science, 49: 420–436. doi: 10.1111/j.0092-5853.2005.00132.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2005
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2005
This article explores how new groups can be marginalized after they gain representation in the legislature. We use data from six Latin American legislatures to examine the effect of institutional and political factors on how traditionally dominant male political leaders distribute scarce political resources—committee assignments—to female newcomers. In general, we find that women tend to be isolated on women's issues and social issues committees and kept off of power and economics/foreign affairs committees as the percentage of legislators who are women increases, when party leaders or chamber presidents control committee assignments, and when the structure of the committee system provides a specific committee to deal with women's issues. Thus, to achieve full incorporation into the legislative arena, newcomers must do more than just win seats. They must change the institutions that allow the traditionally dominant group to hoard scarce political resources.