Magazine article Foreign Policy

The FP Survey Women in Politics

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The FP Survey Women in Politics

Article excerpt

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described her 2008 presidential campaign as an effort to break ...


Do you think the "highest, hardest" barrier to
entering politics is gender?

YES   27    "Politics is still seen as a 'boy's club,' where women
            have to prove that they can be 'one of the boys' before
            any meaningful space is made for them."

NO    12    "I think that gender, class, race, and other factors
            are all high and hard barriers."

MAYBE   4   "It differs from country to country.
            Much depends on the historical and
            cultural environment."

What would be the best way to increase
the number of women in politics?

Gender quotas for political office              19
Grassroots advancements for women               12
All-female or women-focused political parties    1
A combination                                    4
Other                                            4

"Gender quotas for short-term results; grassroots advancements for lasting results."

"The quickest, most effective way."

At least 95 countries apply some form of quotas.

What is the greatest obstacle preventing more women around the world from entering politics?

(Average rank, greatest to smallest obstacle)

The country with the highest proportion of women in parliament, 56%, is Rwanda.

Greatest obstacle

Genera culture of sexism: 2.3

Cultural/religious barriers: 2.5

Barriers in the political process: 2.7

Economic inequality: 3.4

Educational inequality: 3.8

Smallest obstacle

The U.S. Congress is less than 17% female.

The best country to be a woman in is ...

Norway:          5
Sweden:          5
Iceland:         4
United States:   4
Finland:         2
Australia:       1
Bulgaria:        1
France:          1
Lithuania:       1
Nigeria:         1
Philippines:     1

The World Economic Forum ranked Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland the best in 2011.

The worst country to be a woman in is ...

Afghanistan:   10
Iran:           4
Saudi Arabia:   3
Congo:          2
Mall:           1
Russia:         1

Saudi Arabia, Mall, Pakistan, Chad, and Yemen were ranked the worst by the World Economic Forum.

The most influential woman leader in the world today is:

Angela Merkel: 19


Hillary Clinton: 10


Christine Lagarde: 3


The most influential woman leader in world history is:

Margaret Thatcher: 10


Indira Gandhi: 6


Queen Elizabeth I: 3


Sexism in Politics

Have you personally experienced sexism in your career as a politician?

3 out of 4 women said yes

If yes, in which of the following situations?

Interactions with male colleagues   26
Media coverage                      19
Political campaigns                 14
Discriminatory laws or policies      6

The worst example of discrimination toward women that you have encountered in your career:

When someone said: "I'm not voting for you because you should be home with your kids. …

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