Gates alumna co-authors brief on women in politics

  • January 25, 2011
Gates alumna co-authors brief on women in politics

Jennifer Piscopo co-authors report on women in Caribbean and Latin America.

The Gates Scholars Alumni Association chair has co-authored a policy brief on women’s empowerment in Latin America at the Global Institute for Gender Research.

Jennifer Piscopo [2002]co-presented the brief, Presence without empowerment – women in politics in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was commissioned by the United Nations and the Social Sciences Research Council, at the SSRC’s Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in December.

The brief talks about how effective quota laws, which include sanctions for non-compliance, have led to a rise in the number of women who have made inroads into executive and legislative power in local and national governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It says that for women’s gains to be sustainable party leaders must support initiatives which help more women become involved in party politics.

This includes support for policy changes on women’s rights, such as the formalisation of women’s caucuses and commissions in congress.

The paper concludes: “The connection between women’s presence and their empowerment depends not only on having a “critical mass” in political office but also on the social beliefs and institutional arrangements that structure their opportunities to act effectively. Policies have changed when domestic and international actors worked together to hold political leaders – male and female – accountable for advancing women’s rights.”

Piscopo studied for an MPhil in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2002. She is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, studying gender, social justice and human rights. From 2009-2010, she was a visiting fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Picture credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

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