HHH Prof. Ewig on Gender Equality in Latin America

cross posted from CWGPP Newsletter:          

CWGPP Faculty Director Publishes Special Issue on Left and Gender Equality in Latin America

Humphrey Professor Christina Ewig (and Faculty Director of the CWGPP)-whose research focuses on gender equality policies in Latin America-recently brought together a group of scholars from the Americas, along with coeditors Merike Blofield and Jennifer Piscopo, to contribute to a special issue of the journal Social Politics titled "The Left and Gender Equality: Achievements, Setbacks and Variation after Latin America's Pink Tide." 

The Pink Tide refers to a political shift left that took place in Latin America around the turn of the millenium and has since receded with the end of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's term . While previous research in the U.S. and Europe has shown that gender equality policies are more likely to be promoted under left governments, Ewig and her coauthors find that in Latin America, the left in leadership is no guarantee for gender equality, in fact, the record of the region's Pink Tide governments was profoundly mixed. The left parties that came to power in Latin America have been labeled as one of two types- "institutionalized" or "populist." Institutionalized left parties are characterized by strong party organizations, strong networks and identity, and dispersed political authority. Their platforms tend to represent their constituents. Populist parties on the other hand, are characterized by a concentration of power in a charismatic leader who does not feel constrained by institutional rules. 

Ewig and her coauthors found this distinction had important implications of gender equality. Populist left governments stood in the way of abortion liberalization and were less supportive than other left governments of indigenous women's rights, for example. Institutionalized left governments provided more potential for positive advances, but only when pushed by a strong women's movement.

Learn more about Profesor Ewig and her research here.
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