Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Why are some parties referred to as “Männerparteien,” or men’s parties, while other parties are considered to be “female women-friendly”? This study incorporates a two-part model system to assess whether the ways in which party platforms exhibit gender ideology affects women’s leadership and membership in non-mainstream left (NML) parties and populist-radical right (PRR) parties. Using content analysis, this study analyzes election manifestos from a variety of parties within Europe in order to characterize the relative woman friendliness of the gender ideology. In turn, the study attempts to discover whether differences in gender ideology lead to differences in women’s access to power within the party and the legislature. This study ultimately finds that NML and PRR parties do exhibit systematically different gender ideologies, and that the more feminist the gender ideology, the more positive the impact on women’s leadership and membership within these parties. The findings show that feminist rhetoric and ideological commitment is indeed a wholesome effort for NML parties to empower women, while PRR parties argue that women do not want to be involved in politics, and their party platforms show that these parties tend to protect women’s traditional roles outside political life.