¿Por qué hay tan pocas mujeres liderando la política de América Latina?

Si eres de los o las que defienden los derechos de las mujeres de acceder a la política, así como las medidas de acción afirmativa (cuotas, paridad de género) para lograr ese acceso, ¿te ha pasado alguna vez que te digan?: “Las mujeres tienen que lograrlo por mérito propio, no con ajustes institucionales que se lo pongan fácil”. Ese es el constante argumento de aquellos que no se han percatado de la existencia de los obstáculos institucionales y no institucionales que impiden que las mujeres puedan entrar y competir en la política en igualdad de condiciones que los hombres.

Experiencias diversas en instituciones locales y nacionales

Precisamente, explorar las condiciones que enfrentan las mujeres para acceder al ámbito político es lo que busca nuestra más reciente obra “Mujeres en la política: Experiencias nacionales y subnacionales en América Latina”. El libro cuenta con doce capítulos, escrito por 18 investigadores que residen en al menos siete países (Argentina, Colombia, España, Estados Unidos, Francia, México o Perú).

El volumen pone especial atención en mecanismos institucionales que tienen el potencial de expandir o limitar el acceso de las mujeres, por ejemplo, la selección de candidaturas, la organización interna de los partidos y el papel del financiamiento político para las mujeres.

Los medios de comunicación también aparecen en la publicación, ya que juegan un papel fundamental para lograr la igualdad de género: deciden reproducir (o no) estereotipos de género, cubren las candidaturas de las políticas y obtienen acceso al financiamiento político público destinado a las mujeres.

El libro también da una mirada a los obstáculos en el ámbito subnacional, dado que las mujeres cuentan con barreras importantes a nivel estatal y local, lo que ha sido poco analizado en clave comparada en la literatura especializada.

Se resalta el importante papel de las reglas informales y las dinámicas internas de los propios partidos políticos. Éstas últimas tienen que ver con la selección de candidaturas como la conformación de sus liderazgos y también sus implicaciones para la oferta y elección de mujeres para espacios de poder.

¿Cuáles fueron nuestros aprendizajes?

Las normas importan tanto como las prácticas. Es decir, es clave la existencia de medidas de acción afirmativa y diseño del régimen electoral de género, por ejemplo (ver Figura 1), pero persisten prácticas excluyentes al que limitan las posibilidades de las mujeres de influir. Por ejemplo: comportamientos que responden a estereotipos sobre lo masculino y lo femenino, y la exclusión de mujeres de comisiones y espacios de toma de decisiones, por tener que demostrar que efectivamente tienen las cualidades para estar allí, cosa que en la práctica no se les exige a sus colegas varones.

¿Llegaremos a la paridad política?

Hemos avanzado regionalmente en cuanto a la participación de las mujeres en la política. No pueden negarse los avances, pero lamentablemente estos no se traducen en representación equivalente en puestos directivos en los partidos, en el liderazgo de las instituciones de gobierno, en los gabinetes (exceptuando algunos pocos países que tienen gabinetes paritarios) o en los promedios de representación en los congresos que, regionalmente, alcanza 29 puntos porcentuales en términos medios. Los contenidos de este volumen evidencian gran parte de los factores que limitan el acceso de las mujeres a la política más allá del mérito.

La agenda de investigación pendiente debe continuar teniendo como meta el garantizar la inclusión de las mujeres en los procesos de toma de decisiones públicas. Es tarea de investigadores y de aquellos que están en la política, pero es también tarea de todos y todas, la ciudadanía en su conjunto, quienes también debemos operar en una lógica de igualdad sustantiva en lo privado y en lo público.

Los puntos de vista de Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian son a título personal. No representan la posición de la OEA.

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Flavia Freidenberg, Mariana Caminotti y Tomáš Došek
Investigadores y coautores del libro “Mujeres en la política: Experiencias nacionales y subnacionales en América Latina”.

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