Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


Madeline Gannon


Argentina, Women's Legislative Representative


The first country to institute a national-level quota law for the inclusion of female candidates was Argentina in 1991 (Franceschet and Piscopo 2014, 86 ). In a basic sense, "A substantial increase in the number of women in political legislatures is expected to strengthen women's unity and political advocacy, leading to changes in policy content'' (Sacchet 2008, 369). Exactly how the policy content is likely to or ought to change is debated. Both expectation and research has shown that, "Women legislators are more likely than their male colleagues to represent women's interests and to support legislation that is beneficial to women" Oones 1998, 3-4), but the expectation of women in office to have feminist policy agendas is arguably sexist. Some feminists have suggested that categorizing politically active women by their perceived, "shared 'identity' or 'interests,"' assumes more than is justifiable about what is important to them (Htun, Lacalle, and Micozzi 2013, 98). Similarly, expecting female legislators to introduce effective policies on women's issues, "holds these women, often political newcomers, to unrealistically high standards of success" (Franceschet and Piscopo 2008, 400). Some female legislators may pursue policies focused on women's issues as a result of the gender quota, because they feel that otherwise they would not have been elected (Franceschet and Piscopo 2008, 408).