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Electing Women Political Leaders

Electing Women Political Leaders

(p.89) 4 Electing Women Political Leaders
The Motherless State
University of Chicago Press

There have been many American women who have run campaigns to be president of the United States, one of whom was Gracie Allen in the 1940s. Her campaign shows an important truth about presidential campaigns. Increasing women's formal political representation as political officeholders promotes both normative and instrumental values central to democratic theory and practice. Political structures matter for women's election to national political office. Maternal public policies in a democratic state have a positive impact on the election of women to national legislatures. It is shown that Sweden, Denmark, and Norway perform gender quotas, welfare provision, and monarchies; Iceland performs welfare provision and gender quotas; and Finland performs welfare provision. The laggard status of the American state compared to other democracies when it comes to women's political representation is explained by its failure, beginning with its very founding, to institute such a state.

Keywords:   political representation, United States, Gracie Allen, presidential campaigns, maternal public policies, national legislatures, election of women, gender quotas, welfare provision, monarchies

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