"Women and Politics Worldwide" by Barbara J.              Nelson

Women and Politics Worldwide Barbara J. Nelson, Najma Chowdhury

Publication date:
27 Apr 1994
Yale University Press
832 pages: 254 x 178mm

To what extent do women participate in the decisions that shape the political and economic contours of the world? In what ways do women in different countries have different political goals? How should women mobilize for change?

This important book—the first to analyze the complexities of women's political participation on a cross-national scale and from a feminist perspective—surveys forty-three countries, chosen to represent a variety of political systems, levels of economic development, and regions, in order to answer these questions. The research definitively demonstrates that in no country do women have political status, access, or influence equal to men's.

The book begins by offering an expanded definition of political engagement; by elaborating on the patterns that emerge from the study; and by describing the methodology and data collection. The rest of the chapters focus on individual countries and follow a set format: they describe the political history and institutions in the country, summarize the organization of women's movements there, and analyze how groups of women articulate political demands and what responses they receive from their government or community. While the contexts of activism vary widely, the authors find that the issues that engage women politically are often similar across the globe: these include resistance to militarism, the desire to become equal partners in new democracies, and frustration about their lack of representation in programs for economic development.

Barbara J. Nelson is professor of public affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota and director of the Center on Woman and Public Policy. Najma Chowdhury is professor of political science at Dhaka University, Bangladesh, and the past president of Women for Women: A Research and Study Group.

Winner of the 1995 Victoria Schuck Award given by the American Political Science Association

"Nelson and Chowdhury have produced an important and exciting book, a rich and wide-ranging study of a sadly neglected area of political science. The volume will be an invaluable resource for years to come."?Carole Patemen, President, International Political Science Association

"The volume is likely to make a major contribution to the study of women and politics by stimulating further discussions and explorations by its readers. It is an important book that will serve as a source of reference for many years to come."?Zehra F. Arat, Studies in Comparative International Development

"Women and Politics Worldwide is timely, current in its data, well documented in terms of data sources and the relevant literature, well written, and cohesive. This is to the credit of its editors. . . . [This book] is an obvious choice for comparative women and politics courses, will serve as an excellent text for introduction to comparative politics and for country- or region-specific comparative courses. . . . An outstanding collection of national case studies, unmatched in its contribution to our knowledge about women's political involvement around the world, and provocatively engaging in its theoretical speculations."?Karen Beckwith, Journal of Politics

"Women and Politics Worldwide provides important glimpses of the interaction of women with state organizations and political parties, making it an indispensable resource for political scientists. . . . One comes away with a better understanding of the web of influences that create different political situations for women of various countries."?Rachelle Ared, Women & Politics

"This book fills a great need and will undoubtedly become an instant classic. It is a milestone for women and politics worldwide."?Jane J. Mansbridge, Northwestern University