Women and Politics is a comprehensive examination of women's use of politics in pursuit of gender equality. How can demands for gender equality be reconciled with sex differences? Resolving this paradoxical question has proceeded along two paths: the legal equality doctrine, which emphasizes gender neutrality, and the fairness doctrine, which recognizes differences between men and women. The text's clear analysis and presentation of theory and history helps students to think critically about the difficulties faced by women in politics, and about how public policies in education, labor and the economy, and family and fertility, impact gender equality.

The fully-revised fourth edition explores new critical perspectives, recent political events, and current challenges to gender equality, including the 2016 presidential election and Hillary Clinton's candidacy, the fight for equal pay and paid leave, and the debate over reproductive rights and campus sexual assault. It also includes current scholarship on the intersections of race, class, and gender, and expanded coverage of minority women, women in the military, and conservative women. This text, and its two-path framework, is essential to understanding women's pursuit of equality via the political system.

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Reader Reviews


“The field of women in politics in general has ignored issues of economic participation and reproductive rights in favor of a limited focus on electoral participation. But Ford's Women and Politics includes these issues because without them women will not be present in the electoral field much longer. Ford's paradox of equality framework helps students understand the stakes involved when women—of all races, sexualities, classes and religious backgrounds—feature prominently in politics.” —Julie Webber, Illinois State University

Women and Politics comprehensively covers the key elements essential to understanding women and US politics. Ford presents the material in a way that is interesting, she raises questions that will get students thinking, and she supports the material with the most current research in the field.” —Michele DeMary, Susquehanna University

Women and Politics: The Pursuit of Equality is unlike any textbook I've used in my classes. It's chock-full of the latest research but is engaging and easy-to-read. It's full of information that surprises and engrosses my students.” —Michelle Brophy-Baermann, Rhode Island College
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