Joshi, Devin and Ryan Goehrung. 2020. "Mothers and Fathers in Parliament: MP Parental Status and Family Gaps from a Global Perspective." Forthcoming at Parliamentary Affairs
This article examines the gendered impacts of parenthood, marital status, and care work on the ability of men and women to gain and maintain elected positions in national parliaments from a comparative perspective. Using a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis we examine the family patterns of more than 4,000 members of parliament (MPs) across 25 diverse countries to determine whether or not marital status and parenthood systematically disadvantage MPs, and whether or not these disadvantages accrue along gendered lines. Based on this analysis, we conclude that women who are married and/or have children face much greater barriers to political careers than their male counterparts. We also find that both institutional and societal level factors matter in regard to the extent to which women MPs are disadvantaged in this respect, and pose some potential ways of addressing these barriers in order to close these gendered representation gaps.