Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 21 May 2024

From Parliament to Party: The Gender‐Sensitive Parliamentary Group

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Abstract:  Gender-sensitive parliaments are an emergent international norm. Research primarily focused on parliaments as gendered workplaces functioning with formal and informal rules and routines that either constrain or promote gender equality. We shift the focus to parliamentary groups and parties in public office as key actors in achieving a gender-sensitive parliament. We argue that they play a crucial role in many parliamentary systems and can actively contribute to gender-sensitive transformations. Building on the gender-sensitive parliament literature, we first explore the potential of parliamentary groups to improve parliamentary functioning across four aspects: representation, policy-making, engagement with societal interests, and groups as gender-sensitive workplaces. Secondly, we delve into the broader parliamentary and party contexts, recognizing how factors such as the diversity of parliamentary systems, organizational structures, parties in central office, and political dynamics shape parliamentary groups’ room for manoeuvre. We conclude by calling for further empirical, but especially conceptual, research to develop intersectionality-sensitive parliaments which we suggest are crucial for dismantling existing power hierarchies based on social markers.

Keywords:  gender equality; gender‐sensitive parliaments; intersectionality; parliamentary faction; parliamentary group; party in public office

Published:   Ahead of Print


© Petra Ahrens, Petra Meier. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.