Practices and Strategies of Gender Representation in Danish Political Parties: Challenges of 'Everyday Democracy'.

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Denmark is characterized as a non-quota country and a Nordic enfant terrible when it comes to women’s political representation. Women’s representation at national, parliamentary level has stagnated at 37-39 percent, which has remained the average since 1998. This development covers large inter-party differences: The low percentages of women’s representation in the two largest parties (25 per cent of the Social Democrats, and 35 per cent of the Liberals) contrast with the high percentages in the parties supporting the current Social Democratic government (45 per cent of the Red-Green Alliance, 56 per cent of the Social-Liberal Party, and 79 per cent of the Socialist People’s Party). At the same time, the average percentage of women candidates is lower than the percentage of women elected. The chapter serves as a counter example in the book, addressing internal differences in practices and strategies of recruitment and nomination in parties without formal quota systems and a lack of legislative quotas. It focuses on internal, informal measures to promote gender equality in representation (or the lack hereof) and asks why some parties are laggards while others have achieved high levels of women’s representation. The framing and focus of the chapter is on the dilemmas of ‘everyday democracy’ of political parties (the meso-level), exploring the diversity of practices and strategies for training, visibility and empowerment of women candidates as measures of gender equality/parity.
Translated title of the contributionStratgier og praktik for kønsrepræsentation i de danske politiske partier : Udfordringer for hverdagslivets politik.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImplementing Gender Quotas in Political Representation: : Resisting Institutions
EditorsSabine Lang, Petra Meier, Birgit Sauer
Number of pages22
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapterchapter 2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
SeriesGender and Politics Series

Bibliographical note


  • dilemmas of everyday politics
  • Denmark as a non-quota-country
  • cross-party differences
  • gender equality
  • informal measures
  • low performers
  • High Performance
  • candidate training
  • candidate visibility
  • candidate empowerments


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