Miss-represented: Female Representation in Politics

Open Access
Barlow, Hannah Jayne
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Susan Welch, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
  • Politics
  • International Politics
  • Women
  • Government
This thesis examines why women are and are not elected, appointed, or temporarily positioned as heads of government. I use four factors –the structure of the government, the proportion of women already in the legislature, the political ideology of the candidate, and the year full women’s rights were granted- to determine what influences women’s arrival at their country’s top political position. When predicting whether or not women were made heads of government in a particular election period, most factors have a modest and statistically significant effect. The parliamentary system of government had a particularly large impact. This suggests that the structure of government plays a very important role on whether or not a woman is made a head of government, and proportion of women has less of a role, despite popular belief. From the results of my analysis, I can determine that my model is a good predictor for the occurrence of a women becoming a head of government.