Why are women still under-represented in politics? Can we speak of democracy when women are not fully included in political decision-making? Some argue that we are on the right track to full gender equality in politics, while others talk about women hitting the glass ceiling or being included in institutions with shrinking power, not least as a result of neo-liberalism.
In this powerful essay, internationally renowned scholar of gender and politics Drude Dahlerup explains how democracy has failed women and what can be done to tackle it. Political institutions, including political parties, she argues, are the real gatekeepers to elected positions all over the world, but they need to be much more inclusive. By reforming these institutions and carefully implementing gender quotas we can move towards improved gender equality and greater democratization.