2004
Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437

Abstract

Abstract

Violence against women in politics (VAWIP) is a significant problem. Worldwide, female politicians face violence targeted specifically at them because they are women engaging in politics. The impact of VAWIP has mainly received attention in conflict settings and in countries where women are traditionally largely underrepresented in politics. Based on a case study in Belgium, this article looks into how VAWIP affects female politicians in a country with a high presence of women in politics. To do so, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven female politicians sitting in different Belgian parliaments and municipal councils. Based on a thematic analysis applied to the data, three mechanisms were identified through which VAWIP affects female politicians: it creates a hostile work environment for women, it silences women as political actors, and it hinders women in carrying out their actual work. The results show that all these difficulties added up can lead female politicians to consider leaving or actually leave politics. The article therefore concludes that the impact of VAWIP is twofold: it drives women out of politics but also significantly reduces their input while they are active in politics.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.5117/TVGN2022.3.004.BAVE
2022-10-01
2022-10-01
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Akhtar, S., & Morrison, C.M. (2019). The prevalence and impact of online trolling of UK members of parliament. Computers in Human Behavior, 99, 322–327.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Al-Rawi, A., Chun, W.H.K., & Amer, S. (2021). Vocal, visible and vulnerable: Female politicians at the intersection of Islamophobia, sexism and liberal multiculturalism. Feminist Media Studies, 1–18.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bardall, G., Bjarnegård, E., & Piscopo, J.M. (2020). How is political violence gendered? Disentangling motives, forms, and impacts. Political Studies, 68(4), 916–935.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Berry, M.E., Bouka, Y., & Kamuru, M.M. (2020). Implementing inclusion: Gender quotas, inequality, and backlash in Kenya. Politics & Gender, 17(4), 640–664.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Casagrande, L. (2020, November17). Zuhal Demir krijgt politiebewaking na dreigmail: ‘Zwijgen of je wordt verkracht’. Het Belang van Limburg. Retrieved from https://www.hbvl.be/cnt/dmf20201117_95831810
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chappell, L., & Waylen, G. (2013). Gender and the hidden life of institutions. Public Administration, 91(3), 599–615.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Collignon, S., & Rüdig, W. (2020). Harassment and intimidation of parliamentary candidates in the United Kingdom. The Political Quarterly, 91(2), 422–429.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Collignon, S., & Rüdig, W. (2021). Increasing the cost of female representation? The gendered effects of harassment, abuse and intimidation towards parliamentary candidates in the UK. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 31(4), 429–449.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. De Wulf, L. (2020, March4). #MeToo wordt #WeesLuider: Politica Sihame El Kaouakibi (Open VLD) vraagt om meer op te komen voor elkaar. VRT NWS. Retrieved from https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2020/03/04/sihame-el-kaouakibiklaagt-seksisme-en-racisme-aan-op-twitter/
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Dempsey, L., Dowling, M., Larkin, P., & Murphy, K. (2016). Sensitive interviewing in qualitative research. Research in Nursing & Health, 39(6), 480–490.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Dhrodia, A. (2018). Unsocial media: A toxic place for women. IPPR Progressive Review, 24(4), 380–387.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Erikson, J., & Josefsson, C. (2019). The legislature as a gendered workplace: Exploring members of parliament’s experiences of working in the Swedish parliament. International Political Science Review, 40(2), 197–214.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Every-Palmer, S., Barry-Walsh, J., & Pathé, M. (2015). Harassment, stalking, threats and attacks targeting New Zealand politicians: A mental health issue. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 634–641.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Foley, M., Oxenbridge, S., Cooper, R., & Baird, M. (2020). ‘I’ll never be one of the boys’: Gender harassment of women working as pilots and automotive tradespeople. Gender, Work & Organization, 1–16. doi:10.1111/gwao.12443
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gorrell, G., Bakir, M.E., Roberts, I., Greenwood, M.A., & Bontcheva, K. (2020). Which politicians receive abuse? Four factors illuminated in the UK general election 2019. EPJ Data Science, 9(1), 1–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Gruber, J.E. (1998). The impact of male work environments and organizational policies on women’s experiences of sexual harassment. Gender and Society, 12(3), 301–320.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Håkansson, S. (2021). Do women pay a higher price for power? Gender bias in political violence in Sweden. The Journal of Politics, 83(2), 515–531.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hedström, P., & Swedberg, R. (1998). Social mechanisms: An introductory essay. In P.Hedström & R.Swedberg (Eds.), Social mechanisms: An analytical approach to social theory (pp. 1–31). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Herrick, R., & Franklin, L.D. (2019). Is it safe to keep this job? The costs of violence on the psychological health and careers of U.S. mayors. Social Science Quarterly, 100(6), 2047–2058.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Herrick, R., Thomas, S., & Bartholomy, K. (2021). Gender, power, and colleague aggression in U.S. state senates. Political Research Quarterly, 75(1), 134–146.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. IGVM. (2019). Cijfers. Instituut voor de gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen. Retrieved from https://igvm-iefh.belgium.be/nl/activiteiten/politiek/cijfers
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2016). Sexism, harassment and violence against women parliamentarians. Retrieved from https://www.ipu.org/resources/ publications/issue-briefs/2016-10/sexism-harassment-and-violence-against-women-parliamentarians
  24. Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2018). Sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments in Europe. Retrieved from https://www.ipu.org/resources/publications/issue-briefs/2018-10/sexism-harassment-and-violence-against-women-in-parliaments-in-europe
  25. Krook, M.L. (2018). Westminster too: On sexual harassment in British politics. The Political Quarterly, 89(1), 65–72.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Krook, M.L. (2020). Violence against women in politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Krook, M.L., & Restrepo Sanín, J. (2016). Gender and political violence in Latin America. Concepts, debates and solutions. Política y Gobierno, 23(1), 125–157.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Kuperberg, R. (2021). Incongruous and illegitimate: Antisemitic and Islamophobic semiotic violence against women in politics in the United Kingdom. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 9(1), 100–126.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Mansfield, P.K., Koch, P.B., Henderson, J., Vicary, J.R., Cohn, M., & Young, E.W. (1991). The job climate for women in traditionally male blue-collar occupations. Sex Roles, 25(1), 63–79.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Muhammad, S., Awan, M.W., & Hussain, M. (2020). Violence against women in politics: A study of backlash effect of gender quota in parliament of Pakistan. Research Journal of Social Sciences & Economics Review, 1(4), 361–367.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Nadim, M., & Fladmoe, A. (2021). Silencing women? Gender and online harassment. Social Science Computer Review, 39(2), 245–258.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Puwar, N. (1997). Reflections on interviewing women MPs. Sociological Research Online, 2(1), 82–91.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Puwar, N. (2004). Space invaders: Race, gender andbodies out of place. New York: Berg.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Raj, A., Johns, N.E., & Jose, R. (2020). Gender parity at work and its association with workplace sexual harassment. Workplace Health & Safety, 68(6), 279–292.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Ward, S., & McLoughlin, L. (2020). Turds, traitors and tossers: The abuse of UK MPs via Twitter. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 26(1), 47–73.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Zetterberg, P. (2008). The downside of gender quotas? Institutional constraints on women in Mexican state legislatures. Parliamentary Affairs, 61(3), 442–460.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.5117/TVGN2022.3.004.BAVE
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error