Women Representation and Party Institutionalization in Latin America

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Some scholars argue that party institutionalization favors women’s political representation. While some have studied this issue within countries, no research has explored it at the cross-national level. This study examines the relationship between the institutionalization of the party system at the country level and women's representation in Congress for 20 Latin American countries. The study discusses Wylie's theory of party institutionalization and its relationship with women's political representation in Brazil as a theoretical starting point. The study raises concerns about the generalizability of this theory. Institutionalization as an independent variable is measured based on a multidimensional index developed by the V-Dem database. Findings indicate that party system institutionalization does not enhance female representation. However, the institutionalization of party organization, one index dimension, has a negative relationship with representation. This study highlights the importance of improving data collection on individual parties and invites future research on female representation and party institutionalization in other regional contexts.

Latin American politics, women's political representation, party system institutionalization, electoral systems, gender quotas, political parties