This project is set out to examine the extent to which Southeastern Europe is ‘a man’s world’ when it comes to political representation of women. It examines the extent to which women are included in national governments, as well as the type of portfolios allocated to them. One of the arguments put forward is that the lack of parity observed in many of the countries in this region is due to trivial implementation of the changes in the institutional set up focusing on gender equality and on the ‘macho mentality’ which still pervades social perceptions in these states.
The research project makes several contributions to the field. First, it reinforces the importance of the recently pioneered idea that gender scholars ought to focus on conservative or right political parties as well and not limit the analysis to parties of the left, as has been primarily done thus far. Second, the project taps into new empirical territory by offering the first detailed systematic study of female ministers in Southeastern Europe, including the countries of former Yugoslavia, which have been largely neglected to this point. Lastly, the project will result in the collection of a unique dataset which will be publicly available on the project website.
This stage of the project utilizes qualitative and quantitative techniques for collecting and examining data. The research involves the gathering and examination of data on female politicians appointed to ministerial posts in ten Southeast European countries for the period from 1990-2017. This would allow the identification of trends of variation in the number and type of ministerial appointments and its changing over time. Finally, the research efforts will culminate in a region-wide analysis and case-studies of several of the countries singled out as most illustrative of the findings from the previous steps.