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Title: Women's contested politics of presence : learning from the experiences of Pakistani women parliamentarians
Author: Syed, Shaheen Ashraf Shah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 5314
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This study provides a case study of women’s political representation in the National Parliament of Pakistan, where a particular form of the quota approach has been adapted in a highly gendered political context. By examining the experiences of Pakistani women parliamentarians, this thesis contributes to key academic literature on gender quotas and political representation that has received a considerable attention from feminist scholars. The aim of this thesis is to explore the extent to which women’s formal representation is translated into substantive change for women. This is an empirical case study, primarily based on qualitative analyses of face-to-face in-depth semi-structured interviews of 20 women parliamentarians (out of 76) and proceedings of the parliament of the last three years (2008-11). By adapting Anne Phillips’s (1995) The Politics of Presence in entirely new and novel way, one of the major contributions this study claims to make to the theoretical literature is to analytically examine the effects of quotas from various aspects of political representation: descriptive, substantive and symbolic representation and from a broader perspectives than has hitherto been seen. It also addresses a major gap in the literature on the reasons why some quota women act more often than others in legislatures, and what factors contribute to the silence and suppression of Pakistani women leaders. It is argued that women’s presence in the political spheres is important, but that it is vital to take the particular context into account when judging whether women can and do act for women. This thesis shows that representation depends on various factors which can positively or negatively contribute towards substantive change. It also demonstrates that quotas may challenge existing gender dynamics and have various effects on women’s representation within and outside parliament. However, some gender and human rights issues may be difficult to tackle, especially those challenging the powerful feudal and tribal political elite (mainly men).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)