By Michelle A. Saint-Germain
Through the years among 1980 and 1999, in the middle of struggle and monetary quandary, a list variety of ladies have been elected to nationwide legislatures in important American republics. Can quantitative raises within the presence of elected ladies in valuable the USA produce qualitative political adjustments? during this particular research, Michelle A. Saint-Germain and Cynthia Chavez Metoyer discover the explanations for this exceptional political upward push of ladies, and what impact it has had at the sector. concentrating on Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, the authors research nationwide and local signs to judge a variety of hypotheses about the purposes for women's electoral luck within the zone, in addition to to make comparisons with findings from different international areas. They locate that the election of extra ladies is determined by 3 issues: the presence of a concern, a pool of politically skilled ladies, and a tradition of gender realization. additionally they examine the features of valuable American girls legislators to girls in different nationwide legislatures world wide. The authors rfile how elected ladies have used their policy-making strength to start to alter the lives of all critical americans, men and women alike. in additional than seventy-five in-depth, own interviews, those ladies legislators contemplate their lives, political careers, and gender identities of their personal phrases, supplying deep insights into fresh occasions during this area.
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Extra resources for Women Legislators in Central America: Politics, Democracy, and Policy
Historically, these republics were shaped by their geography as well as by conquest, Catholicism, economics, politics, and gender relations. A brief description of their similarities follows. It should be noted, however, that despite historical similarities, each country also has distinctive geographical, economic, political, social, and gender characteristics that have been well-documented elsewhere. This overview is intended to provide a context for the fi ndings reported in this book, especially for the reader unfamiliar with the region.
7 In addition, international women’s groups and international aid agencies began to support Central American women. Finally, women’s studies programs established in universities and Women’s Offices opened by governments produced new research on how poorly women’s needs in Central America had been met in the past and began to suggest that changes were overdue. However, movements for peace and democratization in Central America were complicated by the simultaneous imposition of neoliberal economic reforms and SAPs as conditions for international fi nancial support.
Voting rights were often granted by conservative elites attempting to mobilize support among middleclass women to counter growing activism among the poorer classes. The majority of women were involved outside the home only in social or church organizations. Few women were elected to national legislatures or served in other public decision-making posts until the 1960s. Even when women did win recognition of their individual legal rights, they were still considered socially inferior. Political parties would often create a “women’s wing” to mobilize women in electoral campaigns but did little to promote the election of women.