Within-party gender gaps in expenditure preferences among Flemish local politicians

Caroline Slegten (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


The gender gap in politics is widely documented: women tend to support left-wing parties more than men do. Evidence of this observation was recently supplemented by the identification of a within-party gender gap: within parties, female voters and politicians tend to take more left-wing positions. While this research typically limits itself to one policy area or one political party, we provide more broad-based evidence of within-party gender gaps among Flemish local politicians by covering ten distinct policy domains and six political parties. Our focus is on expenditure preferences. Our results reveal that - across parties - female politicians tend to have more leftist preferences than their male colleagues in 7 out of 10 policy domains. Crucially, gender differences also occur within parties. We identify a significant within-party gender gap in 6 out of 10 policy domains. In 5 of those, the gap has an ideological dimension. Importantly, we find that female representatives express preferences which are more left-wing than their male colleagues only in a limited number (3 out of 9) of policy domains. A left-oriented within-party gender gap is, therefore, not a universal phenomenon.
Period19 Oct 2017
Event titleSophia - Gender Studies in Belgium. A State of the Art
Event typeConference
LocationBrussels, Belgium