'Political parties, ideology and the substantive representation of women,' Party Politics, 22(5), 576-586.
The recent finding that right-wing parties increasingly make efforts to integrate women’s concerns raises questions as to whether ideology still counts as a reliable indicator for women’s substantive representation and how different party contexts shape opportunities for the articulation of women’s interests. This article therefore critically reassesses how ideology defines the opportunities for women’s substantive representation, based on a comparative study of legislators’ acting on behalf of women in 14 European countries. We argue that ideology still offers an important explanation for women’s substantive representation, but that the link between the two should be conceptualized as complex rather than straightforward. The role of ideology is best understood if scholars (1) adopt an understanding of ‘ideology’ that allows for more variation and is conceptually different from ‘party’, (2) differentiate between gendered interests and feminist interests and (3) understand the impact of ideology as both direct and mediated.