This report America examines the progress made in women’s participation at all levels of public and party decision-making in the three decades since the start of the third wave of democratization in Latin America, drawing on data from 18 countries in the region.

The report finds that, although the number of women in politics has improved overall, real progress is highly uneven and limited to only some countries. Indeed, even within these countries progress is largely confined to only some elected offices.

The study goes beyond the numbers, analysing why some countries have been able to advance further than others and identifying some of the continuing obstacles encountered by women. It presents a series of recommendations for improving the situation of women in public life in Latin America


Publication date
29 February 2008
Beatriz Llanos, Kristen Sample
Number of pages
978-91-85724-38-3 (Print)



Executive Summary

Background: women’s suffrage and the slow move beyond the domestic sphere

Executive power and the feminization of politics

Elected office: fighting for inclusion and awaiting equality

Electoral quotas: adoption, impacts and limitations in their implementation

Challenges for women’s representation beyond quotas

A pending challenge: from inclusion to representation

Conclusions and recommendations



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30 Years of Democracy: Riding the Wave? Women's Political Participation in Latin America

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