Quality of Life and Women's Descriptive Representation: Female Emergence and Success in the 2018 Czech Local Elections
Central European Journal of Politics
The aim of this paper is to analyse the effect of quality of life, together with other factors, on female candidates̕ willingness to run for office and women's descriptive representation in the 2018 Czech local elections. We found that the effect of some variables was different in the case of women's emergence and success. While the share of female candidates was higher in larger cities with lower quality of life and less nationalized local party systems, women were much more successful in
... successful in smaller cities with lower quality of life, less nationalized local party systems and a more strongly gendered context in the sense of previous female representation, both in city councils and on corporate boards of firms owned by the city. While the positive effect of size on women's emergence can be explained with the larger city's context which generates more access points for emergence of women candidates, the negative effect of size on women's success was due to the desirability of office effect. Furthermore, the very small effect of previous female representation on the share of female candidates can be explained by the existence of an incumbency effect, which may also underlie the different influence of the representation of women in municipally-owned firms' management. Finally, the negative effect of quality of life (at the level of both candidacy and representation) can also be linked with the desirability hypothesis. The drive to win representation and make decisions about the life of the community can be expected to be much stronger in municipalities with higher quality of life.