Do women make a difference? Analysing environmental attitudes and actions of Members of the European Parliament

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Abstract

Gender differences regarding the perception of and behaviour toward environmental problems are well documented: across countries, women express higher concern about the environment and are more likely to act pro-environmentally than men. Investigations of an environmental gender gap at elite level are, however, limited. To fill this void and to inquire whether female representatives are more likely to hold pro-environmental attitudes than their male colleagues and adjust their legislative behaviour accordingly, survey and roll call vote data of the sixth and seventh European Parliament are analysed. Male and female legislators expressed similar concern for the environment, yet women were significantly more likely to support environmental legislation than men–even after controlling for political ideology and nationality. In light of the continuing underrepresentation of women across legislatures, these results indicate that environmental policies are disproportionally shaped by men’s preferences.

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Ramstetter, L., & Habersack, F. (2020). Do women make a difference? Analysing environmental attitudes and actions of Members of the European Parliament. Environmental Politics, 29(6), 1063–1084. https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2019.1609156

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