Role of Gender Politics in Latin America

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/594935
Title:
Role of Gender Politics in Latin America
Authors:
Pimentel, Maria
Abstract:
The field of gender politics emerged in the early 1960s, along with the expansion of the second feminist wave and the gradual elimination of barriers that had prevented women from getting involved in more active roles in their societies. Research that had previously been carried out almost exclusively on men started to expand into creating independent studies for women. There was an exponential increase in the number of women entering the workforce and the education system at the highest levels (masters and PHD programs). The global demand for more educated individuals and the modernization of society allowed women to perform jobs that had been previously solely given to men. Nevertheless, although the demand reduced the gender gap between men and women, different expectations based on gender beliefs have made it difficult for women to enter leadership positions. In the field of politics, typical female participation is usually limited to women strongly tied to a popular and well-known male figure. Political-recognition and party acceptance, in the case of women, can come in two ways. The first one is through affiliation with a popular political male figure. Usually, this can occur through the position of the First Lady or previous employment under the political male figure. Voting by affiliation, hence, allows incumbents to vote for candidates that share similar beliefs and ideologies. Voters tend to prefer candidates that share similar personal characteristics (ICPSR, 2015) such experience, honesty, morality and compassion. The second way in which women can enter the political sphere is through previous employment for the government. This is usually done by holding jobs in different ministries under popular leaders that later offer their support. Female politicians from this case usually fit the profile of professional women older than 40 year olds with families of their own. Their position inside the government and their party is strong and persistent, which in turn gives them name recognition in primary and party elections. Unlike older female candidates, younger women tend to remain in the lower ranks of government (members of the legislative branch) because political parties strategically position them in said spots. It is a common mistake to assume that the gender politics issues that occur in developed nations will replicate themselves in Latin America (Halder, 2012). Another mistake is to believe that because there are more female leaders in power, the gender gap in Latin America has diminished. Female politicians who reach the highest positions of power are part of a small and very specific group of women: older than 40 years old, professionals with university degrees, and with children and husbands. The profile, although seemingly broad, is limited to women that have connections and contacts inside the political sphere (political parties). As a result of this, while there are some specific cases of female presidents in the region, their positions do not come as a result of their individual accomplishments and curriculum. With my thesis I intend to prove that party affiliation, name recognition and endorsement from popular male political figures are the ways in which Latin American female politicians acquire positions of power. My research will focus on three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, and their female presidents, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Kirchner and Laura Chinchilla. An analysis of the policies implemented before they reached their presidency, while they were in power, and after they left their position will confirm that the cases of these female politicians are the result of independent situations and not affirmative views of female participation in politics. Also, by focusing on polls and statistics from each country, I intend to show that the support female politicians earn usually comes from the party to which they belong to and the male politician that supported their candidacy. [Introduction]
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science
Issue Date:
Dec-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/594935
Type:
Thesis
Language:
en_US
Series/Report no.:
Fall; 2015
Appears in Collections:
Honors Program Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPimentel, Mariaen
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-26T20:00:18Zen
dc.date.available2016-01-26T20:00:18Zen
dc.date.issued2015-12en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/594935en
dc.description.abstractThe field of gender politics emerged in the early 1960s, along with the expansion of the second feminist wave and the gradual elimination of barriers that had prevented women from getting involved in more active roles in their societies. Research that had previously been carried out almost exclusively on men started to expand into creating independent studies for women. There was an exponential increase in the number of women entering the workforce and the education system at the highest levels (masters and PHD programs). The global demand for more educated individuals and the modernization of society allowed women to perform jobs that had been previously solely given to men. Nevertheless, although the demand reduced the gender gap between men and women, different expectations based on gender beliefs have made it difficult for women to enter leadership positions. In the field of politics, typical female participation is usually limited to women strongly tied to a popular and well-known male figure. Political-recognition and party acceptance, in the case of women, can come in two ways. The first one is through affiliation with a popular political male figure. Usually, this can occur through the position of the First Lady or previous employment under the political male figure. Voting by affiliation, hence, allows incumbents to vote for candidates that share similar beliefs and ideologies. Voters tend to prefer candidates that share similar personal characteristics (ICPSR, 2015) such experience, honesty, morality and compassion. The second way in which women can enter the political sphere is through previous employment for the government. This is usually done by holding jobs in different ministries under popular leaders that later offer their support. Female politicians from this case usually fit the profile of professional women older than 40 year olds with families of their own. Their position inside the government and their party is strong and persistent, which in turn gives them name recognition in primary and party elections. Unlike older female candidates, younger women tend to remain in the lower ranks of government (members of the legislative branch) because political parties strategically position them in said spots. It is a common mistake to assume that the gender politics issues that occur in developed nations will replicate themselves in Latin America (Halder, 2012). Another mistake is to believe that because there are more female leaders in power, the gender gap in Latin America has diminished. Female politicians who reach the highest positions of power are part of a small and very specific group of women: older than 40 years old, professionals with university degrees, and with children and husbands. The profile, although seemingly broad, is limited to women that have connections and contacts inside the political sphere (political parties). As a result of this, while there are some specific cases of female presidents in the region, their positions do not come as a result of their individual accomplishments and curriculum. With my thesis I intend to prove that party affiliation, name recognition and endorsement from popular male political figures are the ways in which Latin American female politicians acquire positions of power. My research will focus on three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, and their female presidents, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Kirchner and Laura Chinchilla. An analysis of the policies implemented before they reached their presidency, while they were in power, and after they left their position will confirm that the cases of these female politicians are the result of independent situations and not affirmative views of female participation in politics. Also, by focusing on polls and statistics from each country, I intend to show that the support female politicians earn usually comes from the party to which they belong to and the male politician that supported their candidacy. [Introduction]en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesFallen
dc.relation.ispartofseries2015en
dc.rightsCopyright protected. Unauthorized reproduction or use beyond the exceptions granted by the Fair Use clause of U.S. Copyright law may violate federal law.en
dc.subjectGenderen
dc.subjectBrazilen
dc.subjectArgentinaen
dc.subjectCosta Ricaen
dc.titleRole of Gender Politics in Latin Americaen_US
dc.typeThesisen
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Political Scienceen
dc.description.advisorSpadoni, Paoloen
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