Women and Politics around the World

A Comparative History and Survey

by Joyce Gelb and Marian Lief Palley, Editors


Women have made some progress toward equal political representation in the United States and around the world, but true equality may be a long way away. Though women represent more than half of the world's population, they account for only 15 percent of its elected officials, and their particular concerns often go unaddressed in the political arena.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Women and Politics around the World

March 2009


Pages 657
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Geopolitics

A unique two-volume examination of the progress women have made in achieving political equality, Women and Politics around the World addresses both transnational and gender-related issues as well as specific conditions in more than 20 countries.

Women and Politics around the World: A Comparative History and Survey is an exploration of the role of women in political systems worldwide, as well as an examination of how government actions in various countries have an impact on the lives of the female population.

Women and Politics around the World divides its coverage into two volumes. The first looks at such crucial issues facing women today as health policy, civil rights, and education, comparing conditions around the world. The second volume profiles 22 different countries, representing a broad range of governments, economies, and cultures. Each profile looks at the history and current state of women's political and economic participation in a particular country, and includes an in-depth look at a representative policy. The result is a resource unlike any other—one that gives students, researchers, and other interested readers a fresh new way of investigating a truly global issue.


  • Topical essays on a broad range of gender-related policy issues, written by international scholars
  • Focused explorations of women's political and economic progress in more than 20 individual countries
  • More than 70 photographs of both elected officials and women from all walks of life in countries around the world
  • More than 50 tables and charts presenting relevant data
  • Approximately 20 sidebars with additional in-depth coverage of important policy trends and events


  • Provides a unique contemporary overview of women and politics from a global perspective
  • Highlights the spectrum of women's political representation in various countries and political systems
  • Addresses crucial issues facing women including labor force participation, human trafficking, poverty, and more
  • Serves as a convenient, authoritative source of topics for papers and debates
Author Info

Joyce Gelb is professor of political science at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY. Her published works include Gender Policies in Japan and the United States.

Marian Lief Palley is professor of political science and international relations and professor of public administration at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE. She is the coauthor of Women of Japan and Korea and has written over 150 articles and papers.



"Women have made advances toward equal political representation in many countries but issues remain around the world—and synthesizing them under one cover is the 2-volume survey Women and Politics Around the World. From transnational and national gender-related issues to specific conditions in different global communities, this is a powerful resource for students and researchers interested in women's experiences in world politics and social life."Midwest Book Review

"Women and Politics Around the World provides thoughtful, scholarly, and accessible analysis, much of which is not easily located elsewhere in such breadth. I highly recommend this title for any institutions with undergraduate programs in women's studies, political science, or international affairs."Feminist Collections

"In this ambitious, exciting two-volume set, editors Gelb and Palley provide readers interested in women in politics with a stunning set of articles. . . . an extraordinary achievement; the editors have included many established scholars in the field, as well as many newer scholars. The volumes are remarkable in that they introduce not only new ideas, but a new generation of feminist scholars. Highly recommended. All readership levels."Choice

"This is an engaging work which tells the story of women's political lives rather than breaking it down into a series of encyclopedia entries. It would be a useful addition to political science, history and gender studies collections."Reference Reviews

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