Women in Politics

Gender, Power and Development

Edited by Mariz Tadros


Offers fresh perspectives on the different spaces, networks, and processes influencing women’s political leadership today.
Women the world over are being prevented from engaging in politics. Women’s political leadership of any sort is a rarity and a career in politics rarer still. We have, however, begun to understand what it takes to create an enabling environment for women’s political participation.

In this exciting and pioneering collection, writers from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are brought together for the first time to talk explicitly about women’s participation in the political scene across the global South. Answering such questions as how women can get political apprenticeship opportunities, how these opportunities translate into the pursuit of a political career, and how these pursuits then influence the kind of political platform women advocate once in power, Women in Politics is essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to engage politically.

Author Bio

Mariz Tadros is a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK. She was formerly a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo and worked for almost ten years as a journalist for Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper. Her most recent publications are Copts at the Crossroads: The Struggle for Inclusive Democracy in Egypt (2013), The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy Redefined or Confined? (2012), and two recent IDS Bulletins: The Pulse of Egypt's Revolt (January 2012) and Religion, Gender and Rights at the Crossroads (January 2011).

She works on democratization in the Middle East, religion and development, the politics of gender and development, and Islamist political movements in the Middle East. Her work has featured in The Guardian, Opendemocracy and Middle East Report.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction. Engaging Politically: Rethinking Women's Pathways to Power? - Mariz Tadros
  • 1. Politics as Service: Pathways of District Assembly Women in Ghana - Takyiwaa Manuh
  • 2. Exceptional Women: Reserved Councillors in Municipal Corporations in Bangladesh - Sohela Nazneen, Iqbal Ehsan and Bayazid Hasan
  • 3. Ejecting Women from Formal Politics in the 'Old-New' Egypt (2011-12) - Mariz Tadros
  • 4. Local Power and Women's Empowerment in a Conflict Context: Palestinian Women Contesting Power in Chaos - Islah Jad
  • 5. Pathways to Political Power in Sudan - Sara Abbas
  • 6. Crafting Political Pathways through the Exclusionary Mesh in India - Kanchan Mathur
  • 7. Independent Candidacy: An Alternative Political Pathway for Women in Sierra Leone? - Hussaina J. Abdullah
  • 8. Conservative Modernization in Brazil: Blocking Local Women's Political Pathways to Power - Ana Alice Alcantara Costa and Andrea Cornwall


'This highly engaging volume offers novel insights into the gendered pathways to political office in the global South. The rich empirical material compiled by knowledgeable country experts shows the importance of informal pathways and challenges some common assumptions about the factors that constrain and facilitate women's access.'
Susan Franceschet, University of Calgary

'The focus here is on the process of women's engagement in political competition ... These are inspiring accounts of women's individual and collective triumphs over patriarchal interests, often achieved via independent, non-party paths to public office. This volume is packed with original data from recent research and it is a must-read for analysts of politics in contexts of transitions and decentralization.'
Anne Marie Goetz, New York University


Publication Date: 8 May 2014
304 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783600526
Hardback: 9781783600533
eBook ePub: 9781783600557
eBook PDF: 9781783600540
eBook Kindle: 9781783600564

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