Conventional wisdom suggests that women might find greater electoral success in local politics than in politics at the federal and provincial level. Local politics is viewed as more part-time, less competitive, and closer to women’s perceived policy interests. But is this true? Do women do better in municipal politics?

Using a longitudinal data set that traces women’s presence in elected office in Canada, this study casts doubt on the notion of a municipal advantage. It finds instead that women are present in roughly equivalent proportions across all three levels of government and that their numerical presence has rarely exceeded 25 percent at any level of government. The article thus challenges a pervasive theme in the literature on women in politics.

View Article

Erin Tolley. 2011. Do Women “Do Better” in Municipal Politics? Electoral Representation across Three Levels of Government. Canadian Journal of Political Science 44(3): 573-594.