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How Women Represent WomenPolitical Parties, Gender and Representation in the State Legislatures$
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Tracy L. Osborn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199845347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845347.001.0001

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Party Identity and Institutional Partisanship in Agenda-Setting

Party Identity and Institutional Partisanship in Agenda-Setting

(p.94) Chapter 5 Party Identity and Institutional Partisanship in Agenda-Setting
How Women Represent Women

Tracy L. Osborn

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 examines the bills that women legislators introduce to the legislative agenda using the subsample of 10 state houses. Though women legislators introduce significantly more women’s issues bills in seven of the ten chambers, the alternatives they offer in these bills reflect the divides in their party identities. Democratic women concentrate on providing issue alternatives for women’s health and equality; Republican women, though they also address women’s health, focus on childcare and morality policies. Men of both parties also introduce many women’s issues items. Republican men, in fact, typically introduce more women’s issues bills than Republican women, including bills concerning reproduction, marriage and divorce, and punitive consequences for sex offenders and other crimes affecting women. This chapter demonstrates institutional partisanship is important to bill sponsorship as well, because the majority party controls which bills that Democrats and Republicans introduce continue through the legislative process and ultimately become law.

Keywords:   bill sponsorship, agenda setting, women’s issues, public policy, majority party control

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