Women as policymakers do make a difference

Women as policymakers do change lives

Thushyanthan Baskaran, Zohal Hessami

The actual fact that women are underrepresented in politics is often considered a significant social problem. But why should it be considered a problem? This column argues that whenever too little women hold political office, political decisions might not adequately reflect women’s needs and preferences. Using the exemplory case of the general public provision of childcare in Germany, it demonstrates municipalities with an increased share of female councillors expand public childcare quicker. The fact that the current presence of women has substantive effects on policies ought to be considered in current debates around the introduction of gender quotas in politics.

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