Gender division on the agenda of the Parliament of Catalonia (DEMOC)
Grant number: EXI077/21/000001
The aim of this research is to explain how and why the members of the Parliament of Catalonia prioritize problems. This study will explain if there are significant differences in the topics that the members of parliament talk about, and under what conditions these differences vary taking into account as explanatory variables: the number of women in the Parliament of Catalonia; women's leadership in Parliament (parliamentary committees) and government (councillors); the political arena where the debate is held (plenary or committee), parliamentary group (ideological axis), and the territory they represent. The study of these issues will make it possible to explain the ability of female deputies to represent women from a symbolic and substantive point of view over the last decades, and to evaluate the performance of political parties with parliamentary representation in relation to gender equality, as a political objective.
The study is framed in the theory of political representation, gender studies and the dynamics of the agenda. According to these studies, Parliaments are institutions that systematically reinforce the underrepresentation of women, especially in debates on topics related to "high" politics such as the economy, foreign affairs and national security, and this bias continues to persist in most advanced democracies. These studies also show that the ability of women parliamentarians to act on behalf of and defend women's preferences depends not only on increasing the number of women MPs, but also on transforming the informal norms and culture of masculinity that still prevail in most political institutions. Taking into account these theoretical and empirical antecedents, this study aims to explain the differences in the prioritization of problems in the Parliament of Catalonia, using quantitative and qualitative techniques.