Pacific Women in Politics: Gender Quota Campaigns in the Pacific Islands.

Marian Simms

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


Pacific Women in Politics: Gender Quota Campaigns in the Pacific Islands by Kerryn Baker engages with the significant and challenging themes of decolonization and engendering change and thereby relies on very diverse literatures, namely, on emerging and mostly post-colonial politics in the Pacific region and on gender-based constitutional engineering through the development and implementation of quotas for women. Kerryn Baker explains, in the first instance, why gender quotas were placed on the political agenda in four diverse and ‘relatively unknown case studies’ (p. 142), and, secondly, clearly articulates a range of possible indicators for policy success both of the quotas themselves and of the quota campaigns. She locates her analysis within the well-respected literature on quotas by Drude Dahlerup and Mona Lena Krook, among other scholars. Her summary of the history, purpose and rationale of quotas internationally is clearly written. Her discussion is framed by an ‘interpretive’ approach, which emphasizes the subjective and multiple meanings of actions. However, the book also includes more objective data on the history of these polities and of women’s involvement in and exclusion from formal and grassroots politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-552
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pacific History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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