Still “the Domain of Men?” Gender Quotas and Women's Inclusion in Local Politics in Italy 

Ana Weeks, Francesco Masala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gender quota laws, which require political parties to include women among candidate lists, now exist at the subnational level in 15 European countries. Do they increase the inclusion of women in local legislative processes and facilitate the representation of women's interests? To make progress on these questions, we leverage data from the “most similar” Italian region of Campania, which implemented a quota law in 2010, and Calabria, which had no quota law. Using a mixed-method approach, we pair quantitative analysis of all legislative bills proposed and passed in both regional councils from 2007 to 2017 with qualitative interviews with regional councillors. We find that Campania's gender quota law increased women's inclusion in the legislative process, but little evidence that this translated into substantive policy gains for women. Our qualitative evidence suggests that arcane legislative processes, male-dominated leadership roles, and a masculinist culture prevent women's policy interests from being prioritized.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Early online date2 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2022


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