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This page forms part of the Governance Theme section on 'political systems'. DFID's approach to responsive and accountable government includes a focus on gender. This page includes a series of key resources that explore the issue of women's participation in politics.

Key texts

Waylen, G. 1994, 'Women and democratisation: conceptual issues and gender relations in transition politics", World Politics, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 327-354.
In this article, published in World Politics, Georgina Waylen addresses four questions, the answers to which are essential if one is to understand both the role played by women in the process of transition and the impact of democratisation on gender relations. Why do women chose to mobilise or not in different contexts? What is the nature of this mobilisation?
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

International IDEA 1997, 'Beyond token representation' in Women in Parliament-Beyond Numbers, ed. A Karam, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Stockholm.
This concluding chapter from an International IDEA publication gives an overview of the socio-economic and socio-cultural obstacles to women's participation in politics and offers recommendations on how to overcome them, drawing on case studies from Russia, Egypt, Scandinavia, India, Costa Rica and South Africa.
Full document available online

Goetz, A. ed., 1997, 'Introductory chapter,' in Getting Institutions Right for Women in Development, Zed Press, London.
This introductory chapter from Getting Institutions Right for Women in Development examines the persistent political marginalisation of women's views on the development process, especially at the level of development planning in institutions such as state bureaucracies, development organisations, multilaterals and NGOs.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

Riordan, S. 2000, 'Put your money where your mouth is! The need for public investment in women's organisations,' in C. Sweetman, ed. Gender in the 21st Century, Oxfam, Oxford, pp.63-70.
This article by Siobhan Riordan (University of East London) is based on research into women's organisations in the UK. The research identified a number of factors that hinder the effectiveness of these organisations. The article focuses on one main issue which is the availability, and access to, financial and technical resources. The inadequacy of public investment into women's organisations is found to be a problem in countries all over the world.
Full document available online

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