Gender Equality and Members of Parliament

Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Gothenburg.


Earlier research has shown that women are more interested in certain political questions, such as care and family questions. The reason can be found in the labour division between women and men in society, where women are more involved in care, which is considered to provide differences in experience that are then developed into political preferences.

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But what happens if men do, to a larger extent, get access to what has traditionally been women’s experiences? Do they develop a stronger political interest in questions that have belonged to the female domain?
This publication studies empirically whether the political interest of members of Parliament in women’s traditional questions is affected by parental leave during their period in Parliament. The analysis is based on unique data for parental leave of members of Parliament combined with data from Riksdagsundersökningarna, University of Gothenburg.