The electoral system and women's legislative underrepresentation in post-communist Ukraine

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Abstract

In comparison with the global average of democracies, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, remains well below average in terms of women's legislative representation. This article attempts to explain Ukraine's poor record by examining the impact of different electoral systems. Since the first post-Communist election in 1994, Ukraine has used three different electoral systems: majoritarian SMD, MMM, and closed-list PR. By examining the impact of these different systems on women's representation, we can test for the effect of different institutions on representation while holding political culture constant. The empirical results find that PR systems consistently nominated and elected more women than did the SMD systems. In addition, there is little evidence of gender bias among voters against female candidates in either PR or SMD elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalComparative Politics
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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