Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science




women, politics, history, France, U.S., elections, Segolene Royal, Hillary Clinton


Women’s participation in politics in France and the US is a complex topic about which there is still much confusion and stereotyping. Throughout recent in both these countries, women have fought for equal representation and opportunity, not always achieving their desired goals. Although their histories differ in many ways, culturally and socially, there are substantial similarities, an exploration of which can help to understand the current situation of women in politics. On the whole, women remain less represented in the political sphere than men, however, this does not often stem from their lack of voter support. Instead, there are a few recurrent barriers presented to women. Women often lack a personal ambition to enter politics, the masculine domination in the political parties can prevent their ascension to higher levels, the political and electoral systems have innate barriers to women’s success and there still exist some cultural stereotypes which sometimes inhibit their success in elections. By using an understanding of these barriers in both systems, it is then necessary to explore some real life examples of women who have persevered through these systems. Through the political experiences of Hillary Clinton and Segolene Royal, these barriers become apparent as well as the possibility of overcoming them and achieving success. Although women are presented with many barriers to political success, through other female support and determination, women will be able to gain greater participation and success in politics.