In 1999 and 2000, France adopted laws to ensure equal access to elected office for women and men. Parity Democracy explores the evolution and influence of France’s gender parity reforms, from their historical roots to their recent extension beyond the electoral sphere. Drawing on extensive interviews, as well as on European and French legal documents, Praud and Dauphin show that although these reforms have not dramatically boosted women’s representation in the National Assembly, they have set in motion a process of feminization in the electoral sphere that bodes well for the future of parity democracy.
Jocelyne Praud teaches in the Departments of Political Science at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Vancouver Island University. Sandrine Dauphin is a researcher affiliated with the Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris, a research laboratory of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique.