Women’s Political Representation in a Hybrid and Patriarchal Regime: Evidence from Singapore

Wai Keung TAM*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates women’s political representation in a hybrid and patriarchal regime—Singapore. Specifically, it examines whether female legislators in Singapore put more emphasis on women’s rights and traditional women’s concerns than male legislators. We answer this question through conducting content analyses of the questions raised by legislators at the plenary meetings during the 10th–12th Parliaments of Singapore (2002–2015). Our results demonstrate that female legislators in Singapore were more likely to provide substantive representation on women’s interests than male legislators. Besides gender, this study shows that legislators’ political affiliation crucially affected the likelihood of them to represent traditional women’s concerns but not women’s rights. Opposition legislators were more likely than People’s Action Party legislators to ask questions on traditional women’s concerns. Finally, legislators’ ethnicity mattered, given that ethnic minority legislators (Malay, Indian and Eurasian legislators) were more likely to raise questions on women’s rights and traditional women’s concerns (except environment) than Chinese legislators.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergsz019
Pages (from-to)759-789
Number of pages31
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Research Grants Council of Hong Kong [Early Career Scheme (grant number CS14A1)].


  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Legislator Policy Preferences
  • Political Representation
  • Singapore
  • Women’s Representation
  • Women's Representation


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