A gender gap not closed by quotas: the renegotiation of the public sphereA gender gap not closed by quotas: the renegotiation of the public sphere
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Citizenship, Equality & Diversity (CED)
International feminist journal of politics
10(2008):3, p. 329-347
University of Antwerp
The article argues that while legislation on sex quotas can be seen as a renegotiation of the public sphere at macro level, suggesting a formal recognition of gender equality and a subsequent redistribution of power positions, it does not necessarily imply recognition of the issue at micro level. Nearly a decade after the first sex quotas act had been adopted, a survey among Flemish politicians reveals a gender gap on such quotas. Male and female politicians differ in their acceptance and perception of sex quotas. They also differ in their explanations of women's under-representation in politics, and relate these explanations to the need for these quotas. This distinction between a macro and a micro level might offer clues as to the dynamics explaining why sex quotas remain controversial, even when they have been adopted.