Equal playing field? On the intersection between gender and being young in the Swedish Parliament

Women and young constitute two underrepresented groups in most legislatures worldwide. The aim of this paper is to theorize and empirically analyze how the hitherto overlooked intersection between gender and young age condition legislators’ opportunities to carry out their representative tasks on equal grounds. Using original survey data from the Swedish Parliament (response rate 82%, n = 287) in combination with 40 in-depth interviews with young male and female MPs, we ask whether being young in parliament have different implications for men and women legislators. We find that young women experience higher demands and anxiety, and are more subject to negative treatment compared to other groups. Young men, on the other hand, stand out as the least exposed group. Together our results demonstrate that a young age reinforces negative gendered patterns for women in parliament, while age appears irrelevant or even, at times, a beneficial factor for young men.

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License CC BY-NC-ND
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/21565503.2018.1564055
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 130 - Comparative