The impact of quotas on women's representation in Iraq

Abbas, Mariam (2019) The impact of quotas on women's representation in Iraq. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Thisstudy examines the impact of legal gender quotas on the qualitative representation of women in the Iraqi Parliament. As a fast-track resolution to women’s long-term underrepresentation, gender quotas face a series of obstacles. Even at a very functional level candidates’selection, qualifications, political résumés of female MPs in the national parliament wereconsistently subjected to criticism. The behaviour of those who have benefited from this legal arrangement is reviewed in the framework of networking and advancement of women’s interests as a group. The role of political parties in candidate selection is investigated to identify who are the key players in the selection; women or the political parties. Furthermore, the study poses a number of key questions: How wide is the space between women’s interests as a group and the parties’ agenda in the light of the parliamentary gender quotas? Consequently, do the beneficiaries of the legal quotas owe allegiance to their represented group or to their selectors? Overall, wouldgender quotas make a difference in terms of increasing not just the numerical presence of women in parliament but their substantive representation, too? The thesis seeks answers to these questions while considering the historical framework, political system, experience of the feminist movement and the impact of culture on women’s status in Iraq.

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