In her thoroughly detailed and comprehensive article, Osborn investigates the impact of political parties, their ideologies, and control over the legislative process on women legislators’ policy-making (146). In general, regardless of the considerable representation of women in foreign countries’ legislatures and “the steadier upward trajectory of women’s representation in the U.S. Congress,” their participation in state legislative processes has been stagnant (Osborn 146).
At the same time, the number of female legislators in state chambers directly determines the representation of women’s interests in these states through life-affecting policies, including family law, abortion, anti-discrimination acts, and domestic violence (Osborn 147). However, the Influence of political parties on the performance of women in state legislatures remains under-investigated.
Nevertheless, on the basis of reliable examples, the author concludes that party control and ideology generally have significant implications for female legislators’ representation (Osborn 147). As a party controls the legislative agenda and vital resources, women frequently choose to support its line. In addition, the ideological span, issue ownership, general platform, and electoral pressures of a female legislator’s chosen party will inevitably shape her ideas and possibilities of female electorate’s support (Osborn 148).
For instance, Democratic women traditionally express liberal viewpoints even in comparison with Democratic men, while Republican women are usually more conservative than the representatives of an opposite party regardless of their gender (Osborn 148). In addition, the ideologies of main political parties define the categories of women’s rights issues that will be elaborated on by female legislators.
Moreover, women’s leadership, the presence of women’s caucuses, and their structure have a considerable impact on their performance in state legislatures (Osborn 150). In other words, if female politicians create their own constitutional power, they receive relatively more opportunities for their independent performance in favor of other women. From a personal perspective, the author’s argument may be regarded as highly relevant – the elements and members of the political sphere are interconnected and influence each other.
Osborn, Tracy. “Women State Legislators and Representation: The Role of Political Parties and Institutions.” State & Local Government Review, vol. 46, no. 2, 2014, pp. 146-155.