Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Islamic heritage is one of the cultural factors cited in the literature as being detrimental to women 's political participation. Having a Muslim population does not aflect women's participation in national parliaments equally, however. Across countries with predominately Muslim citizenries, the percentage of women in the national legislature varies considerably. The literature on women's political participation identijies three main determinants of the percentage of women in parliament: structural, institutional, and cultural factors. This paper examines the role of these three determinants on the percentage of women in national legislatures of Islamic countries. This study expands on the literature with an additional hypothesis, that the use of Islamic law by a country in its legal system will negatively aflect the percentage of women members of parliament.