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While it is axiomatic to note how ethnic minorities and women are both politically underrepresented in Western Europe, the interaction between ethnicity and gender in candidate nomination is seldom articulated. Some suggest that ethnic minority men fare better in the nomination process, while others indicate that ethnic minority women experience a ‘complementarity advantage’ over minority men. This article examines the experiences of Maghrebian-origin male and female candidates by exploring the conditionality of their respective advantages in Brussels local elections. More precisely, we show how contextual factors known to influence the nomination of ethnic minorities in particular parties and districts generate gendered outcomes. Our results show that the Maghrebian concentration in the district, shapes parties’ strategies, and influences the gender imbalance among Maghrebian-origin candidates. We find that men are numerically better represented on socialist, green, and liberal candidate lists in ethnically dense districts. However, Maghrebian-origin women are more likely than their male counterparts to receive visible list positions, regardless of the demographic context. Our findings confirm the conditionality of the so-called ‘complementarity’ advantage for minority women and highlight how contextual factors shape party nomination strategies and generate gendered outcomes for ethnic minority candidates.
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IRPCOE1-B: Interdisciplinary Research Programme: Centre of Expertise in Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality
1/10/19 → 30/09/24