Urban and Rural Ridings and Women in Provincial Politics in Canada: A Research Note on Female MLAs

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Several previous studies have noted that women constitute a relatively small proportion of provincial legislators in Canada. Numerous explanations for this phenomenon exist, most of which are identified clearly by Brodie, Bashevkin, Burt and others. In this research note, the authors examine the relationship between the proportion of female legislators and the urban/rural nature of the electoral district. They find that there is a distinct difference in the proportion of female legislators who represent urban districts compared to rural districts. This urban-rural disparity exists regardless of political party affiliation. Moreover, the gap appears to be widening over time.

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