Female Leadership and Power: How Language Impacts Women’s Representation




Walker, Samantha

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Increased support for more egalitarian attitudes and greater women’s representation in public life has led to substantial increases in female attainments of suffrage, education, and leadership positions. Around the world, there has been an increasing importance and broad acceptance of promoting gender equality and advancing opportunity for women. As such, women are running and being elected to leadership positions at unprecedented rates globally. However, women still face a significant amount of progress to achieve full representation with men in leadership positions.

While large strides have been made in achieving equal political representation throughout the world, there is still a significant gap in achieving gender equality. This suggests there is an additional feature that influences women’s representation, aside from structural and institutional factors, that enables the gender gap to persist. Culture is another factor contributing to lacking female representation, and this essay will primarily connect how culture constrains female power and agency. Through a full analysis of a country’s structural, institutional and cultural factors, one can get a deeper understanding of the specific barriers and mechanisms that restrict equal gender representation in a society. By exploring culture as a factor of women’s representation, this thesis will establish language as an important cultural factor influencing women’s representation.


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