Bayerischer Forschungsverbund “Zukunft der Demokratie” (ForDemocracy)

Project 11
FRIDA – Women’s participation in local politics


The project addresses the issue of the low representation of women in political committees and among office bearers at the municipal level in Bavaria. It aims at analysing the causes for this democratic deficit and develops, tests and evaluates specific measures in order to motivate young women to partake in municipal politics.

Project Description

The project is meant for strengthening democratic structures by encouraging more women coming from different social and cultural backgrounds to become involved in municipal politics. Especially women with e.g. family responsibilities, low qualification or immigration backgrounds are rarely represented among municipal office bearers.

Focusing on the Bavarian region as the nationwide poorest performer concerning the issue of women’s participation among leading municipal office bearers, the project is structured as follows: The first step is to identify the causes for the low representation of women among municipal office bearers and committees both based on existing literature as well as independent research. Subsequently the project will focus on developing, testing and evaluating specific measures designed to motivate women coming from different social and cultural backgrounds to develop an interest in taking office – these measures include the development of advisory boards for young women in equal opportunity offices, mentoring concepts as well as cooperation with open youth work institutions and associations for mothers. Theoretical perspectives on self-efficacy as well as empowerment will be further developed and integrated into the practical approach to this. The results of this project will be published in the form of a set of recommended actions for municipal and women’s politics.

Project 11 Prof. Dr. Barbara Thiessen, Mina Mittertrainer

Barbara Thiessen (left)
Mina Mittertrainer (right)