Activities of Women and Men Village Representatives in Poland: A Comparative Gendered Analysis

Ilona Matysiak

Abstrakt

The main aim of this article is to analyze whether women and men differ in performing
the role of village representative – do they express differences in leadership style, have different ideas for
local initiatives, and different ways of cooperating with other local actors? If yes, the question is how these
gender differences could be adequately explained. The theoretical framework draws from the literature
on the substantive representation of women in politics as well as findings about gender differences
in leadership style. The analysis of empirical data presented in the article indicates that the differences
in the modes of working of women and men village representatives are minor and that social role theory
is the most adequate explanation. It is also argued that contextual factors such as the presence or absence
of other women in the local public sphere play a crucial role.

Klíčová slova

gender; village representatives; rural areas; local politics; substantial representation; leadership style

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