Peer-reviewed Articles

Och, M. (n.d.). Manterrupting in the German Bundestag: Gendered Opposition to Female Members of Parliament? Politics & Gender, 1-21. doi:10.1017/S1743923X19000126

The problem of manterrupting, i.e. men interrupting women to take control of a conversation, claiming superior knowledge, or discrediting women’s arguments, has garnered major attention in social and traditional media. Yet scholarly accounts of gendered speech interruption patterns in parliamentary debates are less common. In this article, I argue that manterrupting can be considered a form of resistance against women in politics and, in its worst iteration, prevent female representatives from representing women’s interests. This article will analyze the problem of ‘manterrupting’ regarding parliamentary debates in Germany by investigating the nature and extent of male interruptions during parliamentary debates in the 17th legislative period. Drawing on insights from social psychology and masculinity studies, this article finds that in the case of Germany, manterruptions are neither systemic and frequent enough to constitute a form of resistance against women in politics nor do they prevent female representatives from engaging in the substantive representation of women.

Devin K. Joshi & Malliga Och (2019) Early birds, short tenures, and the double squeeze: how gender and age intersect with parliamentary representation, Politics, Groups, and Identities, DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2019.1629319

The gender and age composition of a parliament impacts who is descriptively represented and marginalized and what types of policy ideas and solutions are brought forward or excluded. While important for both descriptive and substantive representation, scholarship on the intersection of gender and age in parliaments has thus far been limited. To broaden our understanding, we conducted a large-scale cross-sectional analysis of the gender and ages of over 20,000 representatives from 78 national assemblies. We identified four types of gender-age patterns depending on whether women enter legislatures younger than men (“early birds”) or have served in parliament for a shorter period of time than men (“short tenures”). Most surprisingly, we found few countries exhibit the predicted “double squeeze” pattern whereby women enter parliament older than men and have shorter tenures. Lastly, since most women enter parliament after child-bearing age, we conclude that the motherhood penalty still exists.


Malliga Och, Conservative Feminists? An Exploration of Feminist Arguments in Parliamentary Debates of the Bundestag1Parliamentary Affairs, Volume 72, Issue 2, April 2019, Pages 353–378,


Past studies have shown that conservative governments and parties are unlikely places for women’s representation, especially for feminist policy adoption. Contrary to existing studies, this article argues that conservative governments can be places for feminist interests’ representation. To demonstrate this, I analyse the parliamentary discourse surrounding two instances of feminist policy adoption under Germany’s conservative government in 2006 and 2015, respectively. I find that in both instances, feminist arguments dominated the debates and, most importantly, that these findings still hold when controlling for party ideology.

Malliga Och (2018) The local diffusion of international human rights norms – understanding the cities for CEDAW campaign, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20:3, 425-443, DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2018.1447312

While the international human rights norm literature has revolved mainly around the diffusion and implementation of human rights at the national and global level, less is known how international human rights norms are adopted on the local level. To fill this gap, this article will focus on the Cities for Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) campaign which encourages cities in the United States to adopt ordinances incorporating principles set forth by UN CEDAW. This article will analyze how the Cities for CEDAW campaign frames international gender norms to make them relevant in local contexts. Drawing on original interviews with Cities for CEDAW activists, this article will further our understanding how local human rights activists can utilize international human rights treaties to integrate human rights norms on the local level.

Malliga Och & Linda Hasunuma (2018) Womenomics under Abe’s Leadership Signs of Feminisation of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party?, Representation, 54:2, 177-193, DOI: 10.1080/00344893.2018.1443973

Japanese Prime Minister Abe is known for his efforts to advance gender equality through womenomics. This seems to put Japan in line with other countries where conservative leaders have embraced gender equality to win back young and female voters and to modernise the image of conservative parties. While electoral calculation drives feminisation in the majority of cases, we argue that this is not the case in Japan. Instead, economic and international pressures are more important drivers than electoral calculations.

“Talking about my generation and class? Unpacking the descriptive representation of women in Asian parliaments” (with Devin Joshi,  Women’s Studies International Forum. 2014)

Since women (like men) differ in their interests and perspectives, we argue, that studies of the descriptive representation of women in politics ought to consider not only how many women are elected, but also which segments of the female population are proportionally represented and under-represented. Applying this framework to new data on the demographic characteristics of over 4000 members of parliament from sixteen countries in Asia, we find female MPs typically unrepresentative of their country’s female populations at the pivotal intersections of social class and generation. With few exceptions, the majority of women (those who are young, elderly, in working-class occupations, and with average levels of education) are highly under-represented despite considerable variation across countries in electoral systems, quotas for female representation, and levels of socio-economic development. These findings raise interesting questions and offer new avenues for future research on the descriptive representation and substantive representation of women in politics.

Edited Volumes

The Right Women: Republican Party Activists, Candidates, And Legislators,Malliga Och and Shauna Shames (editors). Praeger Press 2018

A powerful exploration of the role of women in the Republican Party that enhances readers’ understanding of gender representation in the GOP and suggests solutions to address the partisan gender gap. Why is the Republican Party dominated by men to a far greater extent than its primary rival? With literature on conservative women in the United States still in its infancy, this book fills an important gap. It does so by examining Republican women as distinct from their male Republican and Democratic female counterparts and also by exploring the shifting role of Republican women in their party and in politics overall. The book brings those subjects together in one volume that will provide fascinating reading to students, scholars, and anyone else interested in U.S. politics.The analysis is presented in four parts, beginning with a look at the role of women as voters and activists in the GOP. The second section explores the process of candidate emergence, tackling the question as to why so few women run as Republicans and why those who do are less successful than their Democratic female and Republican male counterparts. In the third part, the contributors shed light on Republican women in Congress and state legislatures and their behavior as lawmakers. The final section assesses the outcome of the 2016 election for Republican women in general and, specifically, for Carly Fiorina, the only female candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Each section of the book concludes with a short “guide to action” that takes the insights set forth and applies them to suggest ways to promote a greater involvement of women in the Republican Party.

Book Chapters

  1. “The Feminization of the Grand Old Party?” in The Right Women: Republican Party Activists, Candidates, And Legislators, co-edited volume,  Praeger Press 2018
  2. Och, M. “Political Ambitions, Structural Obstacles, and the Fate of Republican Woman.” Book chapter in Good Reasons to Run (forthcoming with Temple University Press)
  3. Och, M. & Susanne Zwingel “International Law and Human Rights.” Textbook chapter for Political Science an Intersectional Introduction(forthcoming with University of Toronto Press)

Book Reviews

  1. Gender, Intersections, and Institutions. Intersectional Groups Building Alliances and Gaining Voice in Germany
  2. Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why It Matters

Other Publications

  1. THE RISE OF WOMEN. GIZ Magazine Akzente. 2019.
  2. Only 1 out of 36 newly elected female representatives in Congress is Republican – here’s why it matters. The Conversation. 2019 (with Shauna Shames)
  3. Marine Le Pen didn’t win over women. Can anyone on the far right? The Conversation. 2017 (with Jennifer Piscopo)
  4. Macron and Trudeau shouldn’t be so proud of appointing women to their Cabinets. The Conversation. 2017.
  5. Marching Beyond Red vs. Blue. Huffington Post. 2017 (with Shauna Shames)
  6. From the Stove to the Frontlines? Gender and Populism in Latin American and Western Europe. Duck of Minerva. 20017 (with Jennifer Piscopo)
  7. Where Women Win. 2016. Contributor and Editor.
  8. Clearing the Primary Hurdles. Republican Women and the GOP Gender Gap. 2015. Contributor and Editor. 



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