Preface xiii democracy argument holds that no country can be considered a fully fledged democracy unless women are equally represented in politics. In contrast, utility arguments emphasize the additional value and usefulness that women bring to politics. For example, the experience argument holds that women bring different perspectives and ideas to politics. There is plenty of research to back up this claim (Piscopo 2011 Swers 2005). Stud- ies have indeed found that women, more often than men, engage in and initiate debates about women’s issues, that women are twice as likely as men to support feminist and pro-equality measures, and that women are more likely to cosponsor or sponsor bills addressing women’s issues. Another line of argument holds that women represent an untapped resource by including women in politics, governments will draw on the full range of talents available in society, which in turn will improve policy processes and outcomes. For example, women legislators in the United States have been found to provide better constituency service by delivering more federal money to their districts (Volden, Wiseman, and Wittmer 2013), and greater number of women in parliament have also been linked to lower defense spending globally (Koch and Fulton 2011). In the end, it does not matter what kind of argument is put forward. Together, they make a powerful case for women’s inclusion in politics and the achievement of true and lasting political equality. Without it, women will remain second-class citizens who are unable to decide their own fates. REFERENCES Hughes, Melanie M., and Pamela Paxton. 2019. “The Political Representa- tion of Women over Time.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, edited by Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook, and Netina Tan, 33–51. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. IKnowPolitics. 2019. “Here Are the Most Gender-Balanced Cabinets in the World Today.” October 2, 2019.​/en​ /learn/knowledge-resources/here-are-most-gender​-balanced​ -cabinets-world-today IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) Parline. 2022a. “Global and Regional Averages of Women in National Parliaments.”​ /women-averages IPU Parline. 2022b. “Monthly Ranking of Women in National Parlia- ments.”
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