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Selecting women candidates: A critical evaluation

By L. Harrison

Abstract

It is clear that the major political parties in Britain consider the under-representation of women in numerical terms a challenge to be addressed. Dr Lisa Harrison presents (i) a brief overview of existing debates on the ‘state’ of women’s representation, (ii) aggregate data about the numbers of elected women Liberal Democrats, (iii) a focus on the structure of the party, considering how this may aid or hinder the selection of more women candidates, and (iv) a review of quantitative and qualitative data which considers the attitudes within the party towards mechanisms for encouraging and assisting women candidates. It is important to acknowledge that underpinning some of the rather more crude debates based on numerical representation alone are more nuanced arguments surrounding effective representation. The factors influencing the decision to stand for election are subject to a range of potential issues – of which securing representation may not be the most important

Publisher: Liberal Democrat History Group
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.uwe.ac.uk:12019

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