By Debra L. Dodson

It is a significant new evaluate of the impression of ladies individuals of the USA Congress on public coverage and Congress itself. Drawing on 3 key case studies--reproductive health and wellbeing, women's overall healthiness, and well-being policy--from the 103rd and 104th Congresses, Dodson highlights the advanced forces that form what girls contributors do and their impression at the institution.

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Extra info for The Impact of Women in Congress (Gender and Politics Series)

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Until studies of women’s impact in public office explicitly confront this matter, gender differences may shape the agenda or contribute to passage of legislation that some feminists see as victories for women and other feminists dismiss as insignificant or even oppose as counterproductive to the larger goal of gender equity. Moreover, instances when women square off against one another as they act for different kinds of women may be indistinguishable from instances when women acting for women square off against women who act as women (rather than for women) to enhance their political capital as women by providing political cover and legitimacy to men engaging in (what some may define as) antiwomen legislative action.

Those of the majority party, members of the leadership, committee chairs or ranking members) over others. As such, efforts to enhance the clout associated with small numbers through bipartisan unity may fall victim to the cross-pressures created by structural partisanship even when women see themselves as representatives of women. As such, variations in the partisan pressures women members of opposing parties experience may contribute to diversity in the meaning of gender for action over and above what we might expect from mere individual level ideological differences.

Although women in theory are equally entitled to advocate for women regardless of party, if winning is the goal, the control enjoyed by the majority party places much of the burden for pushing any bipartisan women’s agenda on the minority of women who are members of the majority party since they should have better access to decision-making opportunities and to those who control the institutional agenda. Bipartisan collaboration among women maximizes the likelihood at least some advocates for women will be of the majority party no matter which party is in control, but it also means majority party women who act for women collectively may sometimes confront challenges to their credibility as members of a party — particularly when women are largely drawn from the minority party (as in the 104th).

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