Womenin Political Leadership: Judicial
Variousauthors have provided various views on the role of women in politics.This paper compares and contrasts three articles that talk aboutwomen participation in political leadership. The comparison is basedon methodology, conclusions, theory, and gaps. The paper also offersideas for future research based on each article.
Martin, E. And Pyle, B. (2011). “Making a Difference: Women in the Judiciary”, In Whitaker, L.D. (2011). Women in Politics: Outsiders or Insiders? Boston: Longman.
Thisarticle explains the changing numbers of women judges in thejudiciary, and the role they play in the judicial system. The numberof women judges increased significantly since 1980s although it hasnot reached that of men in the judicial system. The article alsoexplained the role of women in the judiciary, and the voice of womenin decision making.
Thestudy used case studies and theory development to explain the role ofwomen in the judiciary. The cases decided by women in the pastincluding the case of Savana Redding who was searched for drugs by amale principle. The decisions made by female judges in such caseswere analysed to determine the role of women in judiciary. Models andtheories were also used to analyse the role of women in such cases.
Theauthor concludes that women judges have limited impact in thejudiciary in terms of case decisions, but they influence the legalsystem individually.
Thetheory behind this article is voice theory which is used to explainthe voice of women in decision making of the judiciary. Women speakwith a different voice, which causes a difference in the decisionmaking of men and women.
What the authors missed
Theauthors failed to explain the influence of culture in the judicialdecision making. For example, culture on role of women could causethe difference between women and men in decision making.
Ideas for Future Studies
Futurestudies should focus on cultural roles of men and women in thecontext of judicial decision making. They should be able to explainwhether men are culturally superior to women and their decisions havegreater weight in the court as well as in the society.
Szmer, J.J., Sarver, T.A., and Kaheny, E.B. (2010). Have We Come a Long Way, Baby? The Influence of Attorney Gender on Supreme Court Decision Making. Politics and Gender, 6, 1-36.
Thisarticle examines the impact of gender on decision making of appellatecourts. It is similar to Martin and Pyle (2011) in one way – theyboth agree that the number of women in the judiciary has increasedover time. The article provides a background of women’s role andhistory as justices, influence of attorneys on decisions of theSupreme Court. The article also explains justice ideology as amitigation of sex’s influence on decision making in court.
Thearticle utilizes cases that have been orally argued in U.S. SupremeCourt between 1993 and 2001. This data was obtained from The U.S.Supreme Court Database. Therefore, the article is similar to that ofMartin and Pyle (2011) because they both use past decided cases asbasis for analysis.
Thesex of an attorney does not influence the Supreme Court decisions.However, the oral arguments of justices influence the receptiveperceptions of justices individually. This finding is also similar toMartin and Pyle (2011) because they both think gender in thejudiciary influence individuals within the legal system.
Thearticle uses gender schema theory which shows that justices usecognitive structure to determine attorney’s credibility in thecourt judicial process.
What the authors missed
Theauthors did not show how the arguments of the attorney contributes tofinal decisions of the justices. The authors only state that thegender of the attorney does not influence the decisions, but how dotheir arguments influence the decisions.
Futureresearch should gather data of attorney’s arguments alongside theirgender and the court’s decision making outcome. This will determinewhether male or female attorneys are strong in their arguments toinfluence the court’s decision.
Williams,M.S. and Thames, F.C. (2008). Women`sRepresentation on High Courts in Advanced Industrialized Countries.Politicsand Gender,4, 451 – 471.
Thisarticle explains women representations in judicial systems from across-national context. The article starts with introduction whichexplains background of women participation in political leadership.The study also explains that courts have varying characteristicswhich determine role of women, and women’s participation in highcourts has increased significantly. The structural factors of courtsand judicial selection process of different countries affect theparticipation of women in the judicial system. This is different fromthe other two articles because it examines women’s participationacross countries.
Primarymethod is used to collect data set of women who participated incourts within various member countries of OECD between 2006 and 2007.
Womenparticipation in courts varied in different countries due todifferences in courts’ prestige, selection methods, and importanceof women’s participation in specific countries. This shows thateach country has its own unique level of women participation in courtdepending structural factors and court selection countries.
Thetheory of women representation is used, and it shows that factors inthe demand side relate to country or institution basedcharacteristics, while the demand side relates to candidate’scharacteristics.
What the Authors Missed
Theauthors did not discuss how country or institution-specific factorscan be improved to increase women participation.
Futureresearch should conduct thorough research to find out the possibleways that country-specific factors can be addressed to improve theparticipation of women in public and court leadership.
Martin,E. And Pyle, B. (2011). “Making a Difference: Women in theJudiciary”, In Whitaker, L.D. (2011). Womenin Politics: Outsiders or Insiders?Boston: Longman.
Szmer,J.J., Sarver, T.A., and Kaheny, E.B. (2010). Have We Come a Long Way,Baby? The Influence of Attorney Gender on Supreme Court DecisionMaking. Politicsand Gender,6, 1-36.
Williams,M.S. and Thames, F.C. (2008). Women`s Representation on High Courtsin Advanced Industrialized Countries. Politicsand Gender,4, 451 – 471.