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Gender Quotas and Political Ambition: Evidence From Germany
Unformatted Document Text:  13 spouse only a 2.1. 10 As in the American case, spousal support appears critical for married German women interested in political activity. American women feel less qualified to hold elective office than equally qualified American men (NWPC 1994, Lawless and Fox 2005). This is especially detrimental to American women’s political ambition because women are more likely than men to believe that qualifications are an important factor in determining whether one should run for office (Fox and Lawless, 2004; Fox, Lawless, and Feeley 2001). American women also fear sex discrimination if they were to run for office (Lee, 1977, 132), they feel they have less of a chance of successfully raising funds than men (Fox, 2000, 238-9), and are more likely than men to believe that women have a tough time getting elected and are less likely than men to think that they could win (NPWC 1994). Empirical research has repeatedly found that American women are not handicapped in either fundraising or winning elections, however, suggesting that women’s concerns are misplaced (Darcy, Welsh, and Clark, 1987; Seltzer, Newman, and Leighton, 1997; Duerst-Lahti, 1998, 15). 11 German women also doubt their own qualifications for office: on a scale of 0-3 (completely unqualified to completely qualified), male survey respondents averaged 1.88 while females averaged 1.81. 12 Moreover, German women from all parties were also significantly more likely than their male counterparts to believe a man would have an 10 Differences of means test significance level p < .001. 11 Because there is a very high level of public funding for campaigns in Germany access to money plays very little role in German politics. Only 13% of the sample mentioned the cost of campaigning as a detriment to running for office; there were no significant gender differences in responses and this variable had no impact in multivariate analysis of the determinants of ambition. 12 Differences of means test significance level only p < .25, however. Further there were no statistically significant gender differences in the weight respondents gave to the importance of qualifications as a prerequisite for running for elective office.

Authors: Davidson-Schmich, Louise.
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13
spouse only a 2.1.
10
As in the American case, spousal support appears critical for married
German women interested in political activity.
American women feel less qualified to hold elective office than equally qualified
American men (NWPC 1994, Lawless and Fox 2005). This is especially detrimental to
American women’s political ambition because women are more likely than men to
believe that qualifications are an important factor in determining whether one should run
for office (Fox and Lawless, 2004; Fox, Lawless, and Feeley 2001). American women
also fear sex discrimination if they were to run for office (Lee, 1977, 132), they feel they
have less of a chance of successfully raising funds than men (Fox, 2000, 238-9), and are
more likely than men to believe that women have a tough time getting elected and are
less likely than men to think that they could win (NPWC 1994). Empirical research has
repeatedly found that American women are not handicapped in either fundraising or
winning elections, however, suggesting that women’s concerns are misplaced (Darcy,
Welsh, and Clark, 1987; Seltzer, Newman, and Leighton, 1997; Duerst-Lahti, 1998,
15).
11
German women also doubt their own qualifications for office: on a scale of 0-3
(completely unqualified to completely qualified), male survey respondents averaged 1.88
while females averaged 1.81.
12
Moreover, German women from all parties were also
significantly more likely than their male counterparts to believe a man would have an
10
Differences of means test significance level p < .001.
11
Because there is a very high level of public funding for campaigns in Germany access to money plays
very little role in German politics. Only 13% of the sample mentioned the cost of campaigning as a
detriment to running for office; there were no significant gender differences in responses and this variable
had no impact in multivariate analysis of the determinants of ambition.
12
Differences of means test significance level only p < .25, however. Further there were no statistically
significant gender differences in the weight respondents gave to the importance of qualifications as a
prerequisite for running for elective office.


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