DIGSSCORE Seminar: Different and Unequal? Gendered Political Participation in European Democracies

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Hilde Coffé, Professor at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, University of Bath, will present for us today. She will present her book project, co-authored with Catherine Bolzendahl, titled "Different and Unequal? Gendered Political Participation in European Democracies". 

The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Zoom link for digital attendance.



There are no European democracies in which women and men hold equal political power. While men’s overrepresentation in politics has declined over the past few decades, many gender differences and gaps remain. Using European Social Survey Data from 2002-2020 across 26 European nations, we revisit the claim that women and men do not participate more or less, but differently (Coffé and Bolzendahl 2010). As a whole, this project asks, (1) To what extent are there consistent gaps between women and men in levels and types of political participation across European Democracies? and (2) How do individual socio-demographic characteristics and/or contextual factors matter for understanding gender differences in participation? Preliminary findings confirm that women are more likely than men to engage in activities that may be considered “private” and non-resource intensive (e.g., petitioning, ‘buycotting’) and less likely than men to engage in public, resource-intensive forms (e.g., contacting politicians, working for a party, demonstrating). Women’s lower political interest is central, and once that is accounted for, some gender gaps disappear (e.g., demonstrating) or reveal a greater activism among women than men (e.g., displaying campaign materials). We also find relatively little change over time but significant cross-national differences in women and men’s levels and types of political engagement.