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Contagious RepresentationWomen's Political Representation in Democracies around the World$
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Frank C. Thames and Margaret S. Williams

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814784174

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814784174.001.0001

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Gender and Cross-National Courts

Gender and Cross-National Courts

(p.60) 4 Gender and Cross-National Courts
Contagious Representation

Frank C. Thames

Margaret S. Williams

NYU Press

This chapter examines the question of women's representation in courts. The presence of women in high courts and in other democratic institutions has increased over time in many countries. Yet, there is still significant variation in women's representation in high courts cross-nationally. Applying the contagion argument, the study found evidence that variation in women's high court representation among countries was explained by variation in women's legislative representation. As the number of women in the legislature increased, so did the number of women holding seats in high courts. Thus, the contagion process that was found to be affecting women's legislative and executive representation also affects women's judicial representation. In addition, it was found that mandatory retirement undermines women's judicial representation, and there was little evidence that women's labor force participation increased women's judicial representation.

Keywords:   high courts, democratic institutions, contagion, women's legislative representation, women's executive representation, women's judicial representation, mandatory retirement, women's labor force

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