Search result: 17 articles

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Article

The Praise for a ‘Caretaker’ Leader

Gendered Press Coverage of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès in a COVID-19 Context

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2021
Keywords political leadership, crisis, care, Belgium, gendered media coverage
Authors Clémence Deswert
AbstractAuthor's information

    Studies on media coverage of women politicians have underlined how the media contribute to the association of the figure of the political leader with masculinity. Yet, the social construction of leadership seems to evolve towards a more ‘femininity-inclusive’ definition. Research on the ‘glass cliff’ phenomenon suggests that stereotypical feminine attributes might be expected from political leaders in a time of crisis. We investigated the gendered construction of political leadership in the press in a COVID-19 context through the case of former Belgian Prime minister Sophie Wilmès. In line with the ‘think crisis-think female’ association, our discourse analysis shows an appreciation of traditionally feminine traits, and particularly care-related qualities, in the evaluation of what a ‘good’ leader should be in pandemic times, although some characteristics traditionally associated with masculinity are still considered valuable assets in the journalistic portrayal of Wilmès’ leadership.


Clémence Deswert
Clémence Deswert is a PhD candidate at the Political Science Department of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Her research interests include political communication and political representation of women. Declaration of interests: I confirm that this article was not submitted to or publicised in another journal. No conflict of interest exists.

    On 13 December 2019 the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court held that a national provision that renders a father’s entitlement to parental benefits during a shared period of leave dependent on the mother’s situation, but not vice versa, fell outside the scope of Directive 2006/54/EC (the Equal Treatment Directive) since it did not concern “employment and working conditions” within the meaning of Article 14(1)(c) of that Directive. The action brought by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) was thus dismissed. The Court consequently did not consider whether the Norwegian rules amounted to unlawful discrimination under the Directive. Furthermore, no assessment was made as to the potential breach with the general principle of equality of gender under EEA law, as this had not been pleaded by ESA.


Jonas Thorsdalen Wik
Jonas Thorsdalen Wik is an attorneys-at-law at Hjort Law Firm (Oslo, Norway).

Dag Sørlie Lund
Dag Sørlie Lund is an attorneys-at-law at Hjort Law Firm (Oslo, Norway).
Article

Access_open Can Non-discrimination Law Change Hearts and Minds?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2020
Keywords law and society, social change, discrimination, non-discrimination law, positive action
Authors Anita Böcker
AbstractAuthor's information

    A question that has preoccupied sociolegal scholars for ages is whether law can change ‘hearts and minds’. This article explores whether non-discrimination law can create social change, and, more particularly, whether it can change attitudes and beliefs as well as external behaviour. The first part examines how sociolegal scholars have theorised about the possibility and desirability of using law as an instrument of social change. The second part discusses the findings of empirical research on the social working of various types of non-discrimination law. What conclusions can be drawn about the ability of non-discrimination law to create social change? What factors influence this ability? And can non-discrimination law change people’s hearts and minds as well as their behaviour? The research literature does not provide an unequivocal answer to the latter question. However, the overall picture emerging from the sociolegal literature is that law is generally more likely to bring about changes in external behaviour and that it can influence attitudes and beliefs only indirectly, by altering the situations in which attitudes and opinions are formed.


Anita Böcker
Anita Böcker is associate professor of Sociology of Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Article

Access_open The Feminisation of Belgian Local Party Politics

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2020
Keywords local politics, local party branches, local elections, gender quotas, Belgium
Authors Robin Devroe, Silvia Erzeel and Petra Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates the feminisation of local politics. Starting from the observation that the representation of women in local electoral politics lags behind the regional and federal level, and taking into account the relevance of local party branches in the recruitment and selection of candidates for elections, we examine the extent to which there is an ‘internal’ feminisation of local party branches and how this links to the ‘external’ feminisation of local electoral politics. Based on surveys among local party chairs, the article maps patterns of feminisation over time and across parties, investigates problems local branches encounter in the recruitment of candidates for local elections, and analyses the (attitudes towards the) measures taken to further the integration of women in local electoral politics. We conclude that internal and external feminisation do not always go hand in hand and that local politics continues to be a male-dominated political biotope.


Robin Devroe
Robin Devroe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University and member of the research group GASPAR. Her main research interest is the study of the political representation of diverse social groups and voting behaviour, with a specific focus on the descriptive representation of women, and she has a fascination for experimental methods. Her doctoral work (2019, Ghent University) focused on the prevalence of political gender stereotypes among Flemish voters. In the past, Robin was a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University (2018, US). Since 2020, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Group on Gender and Politics.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research interests include party politics, political representation, gender and intersectionality, and comparative politics. Her current research focuses on three main areas: the integration of gender equality in political parties, intersectionality and political representation in Europe, and the consequences of economic and social inequality for representative democracy. Since 2018, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Standing Group on Gender and Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier is Professor of Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp. Her research focuses on the (re)presentation of gender+ in politics and policies. Late work focused on the conceptualisation of symbolic representation, how it operates and the issues at stake from an inclusive perspective. Recently, she turned to study democratic deficits in federal systems, especially Belgium, and processes of de-democratisation in general. She is particularly interested in understanding how such processes affect the demos, more particularly from a gender, an LGBTQI or an ethnic perspective, and what dynamics of marginalisation and exclusion they generate.
Article

Gender and Language

A Public Law Perspective

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2020
Keywords gender language, drafting, language, coercion, linguistic policies
Authors Maria De Benedetto
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article adopts a public law perspective in order to focus on Gender-Fair Language (GFL) policies and drafting, by considering both language neutralization and language differentiation in some legal systems characterized by different languages.
    The article argues that the real problem is whether it is possible to coerce legislative and administrative language as a tool for policies. In fact, coercion of language produces administrative costs and side effects on freedoms (such as freedom of speech and freedom to teach); controls and sanctions are needed for enforcement; but, overall, language (as an institution) is not a proper object of regulation.


Maria De Benedetto
Full Professor, Roma Tre University, Roma, Italy.
Article

Gender en etniciteit in de Tweede Kamer: streefcijfers en groepsvertegenwoordiging

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2013
Keywords quotas, target numbers, political representation, affirmative action, ethnicity, gender
Authors Liza Mügge and Alyt Damstra
AbstractAuthor's information

    Women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in national parliaments around the world. Interestingly, in the Netherlands ethnic minority women are better represented than ethnic minority men and ethnic majority women. The Netherlands did not adopt gender quotas, but some parties implemented target numbers. Drawing on document analysis and interviews, this article explores whether parties that encourage women’s representation are also likely to increase the number of ethnic minority representatives. It finds that party-specific factors such as a left or social democratic ideology, the institutionalization of gender and/or ethnicity within the party and the party’s vision on group representation are intertwined. Parties that actively encourage women’s representation are more inclined to openly acknowledge the importance of ethnic diversity. This especially favours ethnic minority women, who benefit from the strong embedding of gender. In the end gender determines the success of the ethnic card in political representation.


Liza Mügge
Liza Mügge is universitair docent aan de afdeling politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam en Associate Director van het Amsterdam Research Center for Gender & Sexuality (ARC-GS).

Alyt Damstra
Alyt Damstra volgt de Research Master Social Sciences en is student-assistent aan de afdeling politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Article

Genderquota als een kieshervorming: terug naar de context, actoren en belangen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2013
Keywords gender quotas, electoral reform, women’s interests, strategic interests, Belgium
Authors Karen Celis and Petra Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article returns to the meanwhile classic question of which factors explain the adoption of gender quotas, but approaches the issue through the literature on electoral reform. It argues that the latter offers two new issues to be studied when it comes to the adoption of gender quotas. Firstly, the definition of the political-institutional and socioeconomic context in which gender quotas are adopted should be broadened, and international institutions, much focused upon in research on gender quotas, should be integrated in this definition of the context in which gender quotas get adopted, so as to facilitate comparative research. Secondly, research needs to approach actors striving for gender quotas more critically. This implies paying more attention to the women/feminist stakeholders involved in campaigns for gender quotas, as well as to their strategic motivations and possible self-interest.


Karen Celis
Karen Celis is als onderzoeksprofessor verbonden aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel en is lid van het RHEA Centrum voor Gender & Diversiteit. Ze verricht theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek naar de politieke vertegenwoordiging van groepen.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoek concentreert zich voornamelijk op de (re)presentatie van gender in politiek en beleid.
Article

“Won’t You Be My Number Two?”

De invloed van genderquota op het rekruteringsproces van vrouwelijke burgemeesters in het Vlaams Gewest van België (2012)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2013
Keywords gender inequality, quota laws, local elections, female mayors
Authors Joost de Moor, Sofie Marien and Marc Hooghe
AbstractAuthor's information

    The number of female councilors has increased significantly since the introduction of gender quotas for local elections in the Flemish Region of Belgium. However, a strong underrepresentation of women remains in the most important position in local politics: the mayoralty. Consequently, the underlying goal of the quota laws – equal representation of women and men in politics – has only been realized to a limited extent. In this article, we investigate which factors influence the inclusion or exclusion of women within three crucial stages of the recruitment process for mayors: 1) the composition of party-lists and the nomination of the first candidate on the list; 2) the acquirement of preferential votes; and 3) the appointment of the mayor. The findings of this study show that the position of first candidate on the list is crucial for the attainment of the mayoralty and that four out of five of these candidates are male. Hence, the nomination of the first candidate on this list constitutes an important exclusion mechanism in the recruitment of women as mayor.


Joost de Moor
Joost de Moor is doctoraal onderzoeker aan het Centre for Citizenship & Democracy aan de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek focust zich voornamelijk op sociale bewegingen, politieke participatie en political efficacy.

Sofie Marien
Sofie Marien is FWO postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan het Centre for Citizenship & Democracy aan de KU Leuven en gastdocent aan Åbo Akademi University. Haar voornaamste onderzoeksinteresses zijn politiek vertrouwen, publieke opinie en politieke participatie.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.
Article

Hoe parlementsleden denken over de legitimiteit van quota: een Europese vergelijking

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2013
Keywords gender quotas, affirmative action, political representation, Members of Parliament, comparative research
Authors Silvia Erzeel and Didier Caluwaerts
AbstractAuthor's information

    Even though gender quotas are increasingly adopted, the legitimacy of such measures remains an issue of controversy. In this contribution, we ask how MPs, i.e. the key players in the implementation and adoption of quotas, think about affirmative action, and under which conditions they find quotas to be legitimate measures for improving gender equality. Our results reveal that much variation exists as to how MPs perceive the legitimacy of quotas. This variation plays out at both the individual and the macro level. Women and left-wing MPs consider quotas to be more legitimate than men and right-wing MPs. The openness of the parliamentary arena towards women’s movement proves to be an important condition for the positive evaluation of quotas. The broader electoral and parliamentary context only has a conditional effect: it influences female MPs’ assessment of quotas but not that of male legislators.


Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel is F.R.S.-FNRS postdoctoraal onderzoekster (chargée de recherche) aan het Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe (ISPOLE) van de Université catholique de Louvain. Haar onderzoek handelt over politieke vertegenwoordiging, politieke partijen en gender.

Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is als postdoctoraal onderzoeker van het FWO verbonden aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel, en als Fulbright Frank Boas Fellow aan het Ash Center for Democracy van Harvard University. Zijn onderzoek gaat over participatieve en deliberatieve democratie.
Article

Genderquota in de wetenschap, het bedrijfsleven en de rechterlijke macht in België

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2013
Keywords gender quotas, policy, science, business, judges
Authors Eva Schandevyl, Alison E. Woodward, Elke Valgaeren e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Belgium is an early adapter of gender quotas to increase the presence of women in decision-making, as quotas for advisory councils and electoral politics date from the 1990’s. The advisory commission regulations had effects for research and scientific bodies, while the boards of publically funded corporations recently came into view. Notwithstanding many attempts, gender quotas have not (yet) been introduced in the higher regions of the justice system. This article investigates the lively scene of debates on Belgian quotas and comparatively explores the process of adopting quotas in science, business and justice. It focuses on the intensity of the debates, the arguments constituting the debate and the main actors driving it. The analysis demonstrates rich variation with respect to these three elements, which points to the importance of nuanced and context specific analyses when implementation processes of quotas in various sectors are studied.


Eva Schandevyl
Eva Schandevyl is deeltijds onderzoeksprofessor aan RHEA Onderzoekscentrum Gender & Diversiteit en het Departement Metajuridica van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar onderzoek heeft onder meer betrekking op intellectuele geschiedenis, vrouwenrechten en de geschiedenis van justitie.

Alison E. Woodward
Alison E. Woodward is hoogleraar aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel, co-voorzitter van RHEA en Senior Fellow van The Institute for European Studies. Haar recent onderzoek behandelt de rol van het transnationale middenveld in de EU-crisis en gender in de besluitvorming.

Elke Valgaeren
Elke Valgaeren was op het ogenblik van de redactie van deze bijdrage operationeel directeur van het onderzoekscentrum SEIN – Identity, Diversity & Inequality Research, Universiteit Hasselt. Ze verrichtte er onderzoek naar diversiteit in het bedrijfsleven. Momenteel is ze diensthoofd van de studiedienst van de Gezinsbond.

Machteld De Metsenaere
Machteld De Metsenaere is gewoon hoogleraar aan de Faculteit Recht en Criminologie van de VUB en sinds 1992 directeur van RHEA. Haar onderzoek concentreert zich op gender (geschiedenis), geschiedenis van collaboratie en repressie, gelijke kansen en diversiteit.
Research Note

Hoe de traditionele laatkomer een modelleerling werd

De Belgische genderquota en pariteitsclausule verklaard

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2013
Authors Petra Meier
Author's information

Petra Meier
Petra Meier is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoek concentreert zich op de (re)presentatie van gender in politiek en beleid. Momenteel werkt zij aan een boek over de symbolische vertegenwoordiging van gender.
Article

Why the Inflation in Legislation on Women’s Bodies?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2012
Keywords legislation and control of women’s bodies, legislative drafting and the female autonomy, social and political theories and control of women’s bodies
Authors Venessa McLean
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article seeks to explore how historical patriarchal theories have crept into the world’s legal systems to date and has led to inflation in legislation upon women’s bodies. The article highlights how legislation has been used as a tool to deny women autonomy over their bodies by placing unnecessary controls upon women’s bodies by legislative, social and political systems and concludes by an examination of the discipline legislative drafting and how an active approach through drafting activism on the part of legislative drafters and policy makers may combat the inflation in legislation upon women’s bodies.


Venessa McLean
The author currently works at The Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in Jamaica as a Legislative Officer. She is also Visiting Lecturer on the Special Narcotic Investigation Course Carribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Centre, Jamaica and Visiting Lecturer University of London External Degree Programme.

David B. Wilkins
Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law and Director, Program on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School. Special thanks to Jens Drolshammer for encouraging me to address this topic.
Article

Constitutional Review in the Caribbean

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords Guyana, electoral reform, constitutional reform, international human rights law, Caribbean
Authors Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
AbstractAuthor's information

    Guyana, South America, is a former colony of Britain and the only English-speaking country in South America, but has more in common with its English-speaking Caribbean neighbours. Constitutional reform and resulting constitutional amendments were precipitated in 1999-2000 by civil unrest following national elections and dissatisfaction by the major opposition with the outcome of an election characterized by ethnic differences between respective supporters of parties backed by followers of traditionally Indian, African and Amerindian origin. This process was a brokered effort to ameliorate the national dissatisfaction and an opportunity for civil society representatives and political representatives of the unicameral House of Parliament to work together in recommending electoral and constitutional reform. The outcome was the radical reform and modernization of the constitutional entrenchment of the modern concepts of international human rights law. In this regard Guyana is ahead of the other sister nations of the Caribbean, CARICOM grouping in terms of constitutional advancements. However, the political will to realize far-reaching electoral and governance reforms, as well as the effective implementation of the entrenched human rights reforms, still lags behind, despite the amendment of the constitution, the appointment of several commissions and the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee tasked with continuous constitution review.


Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph is presently a law partner with the firm of Joseph & Joseph in Saint George’s, Grenada. She is an OAS and UNIFEM Consultant in the Caribbean; she serves on the Board of the Caribbean Institute of Leadership and as Deputy Chairperson of Grenada’s Integrity and Anti Corruption Commission.
Article

Establishing Protection Mechanisms for Bureaucrats

The Case of the Independent Oversight Board of Civil Service of Kosovo

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords Kosovo Civil Service, Civil service, Oversight Board, law, reform
Authors Dren Doli, Fisnik Korenica and Artan Rogova
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the position and powers of Kosovo’s Civil Service Oversight Board, mainly from a legal perspective. The article describes the reforms undertaken upon the Board and the civil service in Kosovo, while illustrating the central pillars of concern in regard to both the international presence and domestic institutions in Kosovo. The article then explains the three reforms and reviews each of the main legal changes the Board and the civil system have experienced, respectively. The last section of the article comprises an institutional review of the powers and the position of the current framework on the Civil Service Oversight Board, while allowing a part of the article to question its independence and pluralism. The article culminates with policy suggestions that would make the work of the Board, and the entire civil service, more independent and accountable to its mission.


Dren Doli
Dren Doli is a Senior Research Fellow at the Group for Legal and Political Studies, and a Senior Lecturer on Law Principles at Universum University College, having served earlier as a Senior Legal Executive for Integration to the Kosovo Prime Minister.

Fisnik Korenica
Fisnik Korenica is a Lecturer on the Theory of State and Law at the University of Prishtina, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Artan Rogova
Artan Rogova is a Senior Research Fellow at the Group for Legal and Political Studies, as a Lecturer on Economics of European Integration at Universum University College.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Docteur en science politique. Chercheur au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec les secrétariats des partis politiques.

Emilie van Haute
Assistante en science politique au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Article

Do Quotas Matter?

Positive Actions in the Belgian Parliament

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2002
Authors Mercedes Mateo Diaz
Abstract

    Belgium has the particularity ofbeing the only EU Member State to have introduced quotas to its legislation. The type of quota which has been implemented is prioritizing the number, without paying attention to how male and female candidates are positioned on the parties' lists. In the article the author examines the evolution of the number of wamen in Belgian Parliament across time. Comparisons are made within and between parties, before and after the law on quotas. The analysis shows that the effect of quotas to a large degree is dependent on the will of parties to obtain more female representatives. Thus, if the major aim of a legislation on quotas is to impose a balanced gender structure in the representatives' assembly, the legislation ought to consider men's and women's positions on the lists.


Mercedes Mateo Diaz
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