Rachel Fisher

Women's Political Representation in Multi-Member Districts: A Case Study in Indone
Political Science
Summer 2018
When do political parties allocate resources to female candidates? Political parties are often described as the gatekeepers to candidates' electoral success. Party elites recruit and provide support to candidates, which, in turn, signals to the electorate the party's candidate preferences. In low-information settings, constituents often rely on ballot position as a signal from the party of the rankings for candidates. In places like Indonesia, parties are mandated to place female candidates within every three positions of the party ballot. Yet, most winning candidates are ones placed within the first two positions on the list, resulting in women only holding about one-sixth of the total national parliamentary seats in Indonesia. While some of these multimember districts have little to no female representation, other districts saw women elected to 30-50 percent of their seats in the 2014 legislative election. I study what accounts for these regional differences, particularly the determinants of party support in placing female candidates in winnable positions.