Skip to main content

Concepts of Representation and the Passage of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons in October 2001, gaining Royal Assent in February 2002. The Bill followed the decrease in the numbers of women elected in the 2001 General Election. It permits political parties to introduce positive action in the selection of candidates. The Bill received cross party support and had an easy passage through both Houses of Parliament. Informed by feminist concepts of representation this article examines the arguments employed by MPs and Peers in support of the legislation. Arguments associated with the claim that women have a different political style received little support. There was greater discussion of, and support for, arguments based on symbolic representation and substantive representation, although many MPs were reluctant to make the strong claim that women's substantive representation is dependent upon women's presence. However, the most widely supported argument in favour of the Bill was the justice argument, namely, that women are currently being denied equal opportunities in the parties' selection processes.

Keywords: Britain; Members of Parliament; Representation; legislation; political recruitment; women

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2002


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more