Alumna wins gender and politics award

  • August 13, 2014
Alumna wins gender and politics award

Jennifer Piscopo has won an international award for her work on gender and politics from the International Political Science Association.

A Gates Cambridge Alumna has won an international award for her work on gender and politics from the International Political Science Association.

Jennifer Piscopo [2002] has won the Wilma Rule Award for her paper, “Inclusive Institutions versus Feminist Advocacy: Women’s Legislative Committees and Caucuses in Latin America”. She presented her paper in July as part of a panel “A New Sphere for Feminist Institution-building? Gender-focused Parliamentary Bodies”.

The paper finds that Latin America’s legislatures provide myriad options for addressing women’s interests within legislature, but that several trends are apparent. These include that governments favour standing committees that exclusively address women and/or gender and these committees have fewer or no male members when their policy remits are tailored to equality. Also, Jennifer points out both women’s committees and particularly women’s caucuses provide the space for female legislators to act collectively in undertaking substantive representation and build consensus which can have powerful results. The paper concludes: “Consensus norms narrow feminist agendas to those equality policies that are least threatening to women from conservative parties and, specifically, multi-party collaboration among women takes reproductive rights off the table.”

Jennifer is currently Assistant Professor of Politics at Occidental College in the US.  Her research on representation, gender quotas, and legislative institutions in Latin America has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, The Latin American Research Review, Politics & Gender, Parliamentary Affairs, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and several edited volumes.  With Susan Franceschet and Mona Lena Krook, she is editor of The Impact of Gender Quotas (Oxford University Press, 2012). Jennifer, who has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, did her MPhil. in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her current project is a monograph that explores women’s substantive representation in Argentina and Mexico.

The US$1,000 Wilma Rule Award was designed to encourage research in the area of gender and politics and was launched at the IPSA congress in Québec City in 2000. It is given to the best paper on gender and politics. The IPSA Awards Committee has recommended naming the award in tribute to the work of Wilma Rule, a leading writer and political science researcher whose work resulted in a number of articles and books that challenge conventional notions about the reasons for the lack of political representation by women in the US.

Picture credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net.

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