Fighting for Seats: The Politics of Gender Quotas in East Asia

Feb 7, 2019 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Huang Chang-Ling (Professor of Political Science, National Taiwan University; HYI Visiting Scholar and Radcliffe Fellow in Residence, 2018-19)
Chair/discussant: Mona Lena Krook (Professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University)

Co-sponsored with the Harvard University Asia Center

The level of women’s political representation varies in East Asia. Taiwan is the leader with 38 percent of its national legislature comprised of women, much higher than China’s 23 percent, South Korea’s 17 percent and Japan’s 10 percent. Taiwan also has the earliest and clearest legal stipulations of gender quotas in politics while Japan has none, South Korea has had them since the mid-2000s, and China has quota policies but no laws. Gender quotas as an institution challenges the liberal idea that emphasizes geographical representation and downplays the importance of social representation. This project explores the variations of quota adoption experience within East Asia from a regional history perspective, especially within the context of the three wars against socialism–the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, and the Cold War–hence to explore the discourses regarding social representation in this region over the past decades.