Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Tasa-arvo ja muutoksen rajat

Sukupuolten tasa-arvo poliittisena ongelmana Ranskan parité- ja Suomen kiintiökeskusteluissa

Eeva Raevaara

Väitöskirja, marraskuu 2005.
Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, yleisen valtio-opin laitos ja Helsingin yliopisto, Kristiina-instituutti.

The study looks at the debates on gender equality in political decision-making in Finland and France in the 1990s and 2000s by analysing the argumentation for parité and quotas and the ways in which gender equality was constructed as a political problem. The focus of the study is on the parliamentary debates on the amendment of the electoral law in France in 2000 and the introduction of quota regulations into the Act on Equality in Finland in 1994−1995. The debates ended in the adoption of quota regulations in the electoral lists (France) and in the executive and preparatory bodies at the national and the local level (Finland). Apart from the analysis of the parliamentary debates, the study explores the political processes preceding the adoption of legislation as well as the debates on quotas and parity in Finnish and French societies in the 1980s and 1990s.

The debates on gender equality are analysed as the sites of struggle and change with regard to the normative boundaries of gender equality, as well as of politics and citizenship. The cross-cultural perspective gives room to explore the ways in which gender equality and change can be imagined in different national contexts, and which kinds of discursive resources are available for the politicization of gender equality. Specific attention is paid to the discursive frames and agenda settings in the debates and how these set the limits of the imaginable and the possible in the promotion of gender equality.

In both Finland and France, the promotion of equality was constructed as a national project, in which the main beneficiary was the society or the nation as a whole. In France, gender equality was an inherent part of the promotion of French democracy; in Finland, gender equality was regarded as a means to bring the expertise of both women and men to the benefit of the whole society. Furthermore, in both countries the promotion of gender equality was based on the harmonious cooperation of women and men and the temporal dimension of "nearly achieved" gender equality. In this kind of a context, gender equality served as a means towards the wider national ends, and there was little room to discuss the aspects of power and agency with regard to gender equality.

However, the internationalisation of equality politics, as well as the conflicting interpretations of gender equality in the national political arenas, calls into question the existence of clearly defined and immutable boundaries of "Finnish" and "French" gender equality. At the same time, the rules of the game in politics, including the meaning of French republicanism and Finnish "expert oriented" politics were contested. In this way, the new equality legislation and the preceding political processes played a part in the transformation of the limits of gender equality, politics and citizenship.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 30.01.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki