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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Italian women achieved the franchise in 1946, immediately after World War II. In principle, this should have enabled equal female participation in politics. In practice, for a long time female politicians have remained a minority in political office, being relegated to secondary roles and excluded from leadership positions. Although the goal of equal treatment of women in politics has not yet been reached, in recent years there has been progress in terms of women’s presence in formal political institutions and of action programs for women. This chapter examines the transformations that have taken place in the relationship between Italian women and politics. Making use of theoretical insights and the available empirical evidence, it considers specific questions about similarities and differences in the political activism of women and men, about female political representation in legislatures and assemblies, and about the women’s presence within the ruling elites.

Keywords: franchise, gender, female participation, political activism, political representation, elites, leadership positions

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