Domenico Carbone

Women in politics. Paths and ambitions of Italian councilwomen

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Gender and Politics; Female Political Participation; Formal Representation; Substantive Representation; Political Careers.

The focus of the paper is on female political participation in Italy where many evidence, offered by current literature, show a low and bad level of women political representation, especially if compared to European or international context. Within this debate, the paper aims to investigate the experiences and the political career expectations of a group of Italian councilwomen. Data came from a national web-survey, based on a representative sample of Italian municipalities. Starting from the answers of 505 elected women, the paper contains a double level of analysis. The first one, includes the characteristics and the duration of the councilwomen's political experiences. The second one, illustrates their future expectations in terms of permanence in politics and in terms of ambition for a better political role. Councilwomen's experiences and ambitions have been analysed with respect to the institutional characteristics of the municipality, with the individual and family features of the elected women and, finally, with their social capital resources. Both of levels of analysis clearly show that paths and expectation are strictly related to the presence of specific "gender friendly" agencies, within the institutional context of the municipality, and with the councilwomen's needs related to their work-life balance.

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