Women congress

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  • When we begin to translate participation into electoral politics, the end of the day focus is on representation. That is what our elected officials, especially in the Congress, are supposed to be doing.
  • Who can explain how these constrain the ability of women to represent women’s issues
  • The typical way of thinking about representation and constituencies in political science Inner= close friends Primary= those that get you on a party ticket Re-election= gets you elected at the general District= everyone Why might this not be enough when we start to be concerned about women in government?
  • I am discussing her concrete results, and not really focusing on her predictions of whether more women would make a difference. Women across the board are more likely than men in their party to sponsor women’s issue bills Makes sense that men are more likely to sponsor social welfare bills since they could be used to claim credit broadly since the category includes health and education issues Even controlling for other variables that could influence bill sponsorship, women in both parties still remain statistically significant predictor of the likelihood of sponsoring women’s issue legislation. Additionally, women are steady predictor of sponsoring feminist bills, while Democratic women are the most likely to propose social welfare bill, controlling for other factors. How do we explain Republican Men in the 104 th ?
  • Women congress

    1. 2. Representation <ul><li>Descriptive Representation– being represented by someone with same identity characteristics as a particular voter or constituency. I.E., women representing women, Latinos representing Latinos, etc. Idea here is that numerical representation of different groups will better represent the interest of those groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Substantive Representation– The policy concerns of a particular constituency gets adequate representation, and any individual in office is capable of such representation. I.E., engaging women’s issues </li></ul>
    2. 3. Swers <ul><li>Does descriptive representation actually lead to substantive representation? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, how does effort of women to represent women interact with institutional constraints of Congress? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reelection and constituency pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee system and the drive to develop expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional lack of leadership positions </li></ul></ul>
    3. 4. Fenno and Concentric Circles Inner= close friends Primary= those that get member on a party ticket Re-election= gets member elected at the general District= everyone The District Re-election Constituency Primary Constituency Inner Circle or Intimates
    4. 5. Role of Committee in Congress <ul><li>Winnowing bills </li></ul><ul><li>“ Workhorses” of Congress– </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantive consideration of bills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearings and fact-finding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority of compromises made here </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can push bills through the committee. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership to committee is best predictor of bill passage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership roles within the committee is an even stronger predictor </li></ul></ul>
    5. 6. Measures and Results <ul><li>Bill sponsorship as an indicator of descriptive as substantive representation of women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She finds evidence that being a woman in either party is a predictor of sponsoring women’s issue legislation, especially feminist legislation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The relationship does change based on which party is in office. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. <ul><li>Co-sponsorship as an indicator of descriptive as substantive representation of women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to see party, party control, and gender to have an influence on co-sponsorship activity of women’s issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-sponsorship of feminist issues has the strongest relationship to gender. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Committee amendments (through markups) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jurisdictional constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender is a clear predictor for sponsoring feminist amendments, with Democratic women being more likely to sponsor such amendments than Republican women </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. <ul><li>Floor Activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women do not have as much influence here. Gender is not the same kind of predictor it is for other kinds of activity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being on the committee from which the women’s issue bill originated is a much more powerful predictor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exception is Democratic women in the 104, explained by efforts to defeat Contract with America provisions. </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. <ul><li>Roll Call Voting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender has the biggest impact for Republican voting patterns on women’s issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For Democratic women, being a Democrat explains activity. When the House is under Republican control, gender of Democratic women starts to exhibit a slight effect on voting patterns. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. <ul><li>Is the expectation of women to represent women’s issues fair? Why or why not? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the expectation force women to remain in a token position? Force women into symbolic roles in Congress? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing the need of giving women a voice versus allowing women to compete equally in political careers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do constraints effect the ability to build a political career? </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>Does descriptive representation actually lead to substantive representation? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, how does the effort of women to represent women interact with institutional constraints of Congress? </li></ul><ul><li>Why consider abortion separately from other issues? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact do you think race considerations would have on her study? </li></ul>

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