Thursday, July 5, 2007

Female MPs have Different Priorities

I always hate to say that female politicians govern or make decisions 'essentially' different than men. This is because I think that all women are so different in and of themselves, that it's problematic to lump them into one category. BUT... female politicians do have different priorities as this article shows from AllAfrica.com.


The society should expect the involvement of women parliamentarians to lead to different policy and decision making. On the assumption that they can act from a different perspective from that of their male counterparts is reality.

An alternative perspective in an exclusive survey of women parliamentarians from 65 countries conducted by Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) in 1999, the respondents consistently portrayed women as having different priorities from men.


Four out of every five respondents believed that women held conceptually different ideas about society and politics. More than 90 percent agreed that women's greater participation would bring about change, and almost 9out of 10 considered that women's participation in political process significantly changed political out comes.


Three reasons as to why women politicians are likely to approach politics differently: women's motivation for joining politics is often different from that of their men.

In the IPU survey 40 percent of the respondents stated that they had joined politics as a result of their interests in social work, and 34 percent through non governmental organizations as opposed to the "conventional" path of party politics often embraced by men.

This finding accurately reflects a well established tendency among women to engage in civil society as a way of promoting projects that support house holds survival, and to focus their energies at the local level.



The ways in which women are socialized are also a crucial aspect of why women's priorities are different. Women are raised to have different skills and priorities than men. These attitudes are often transfered into their political work and beliefs. The article deals well with these issues and also with reasons why women worldwide do not get involved or run for political office, so click over and check it out!

Women are often exposed to different patterns of socialization and have different life experiences than men, and are likely to bring their experiences and expertise to bear on their political decisions.

While important changes have been taking place over the past few decades, in most countries women still bear the main care giving responsibilities for their families, including children and the elderly.

Women are more likely to see themselves as representatives of women. A study of legislators from the United States found out that women feel a special responsibility to represent other women and consider themselves more capable of representing their interests.

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