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Who's Who of Women in World Politics.

Yolanda Dolling (ed.). Bowker-Saur/Reed International Books. Distributed in the UK by Butterworths. 311pp.

Bowker-Saur have made a name for themselves by the wide range of their reference works which are mainly intended for public and university libraries. Previous publications include |Who's Who' in European, Asian, Chinese, South African, Arab, American and Australian politics. There is also a guide to international organisations. This present guide is the latest addition, therefore, to a wide range. The aim of the book, according to the Managing Editor, Yolanda Dolling, is to provide |biographical and statistical information of women active on the global arena with contact addresses'. Future editions are promised. The book covers 156 territories, from the United Kingdom to the co-operative Republic of Guyana, and 1,500 women, from Ann Richards, Governor of Texas to Mrs. Thatcher. The information contained in the biographical entries is dated as from 31 July 1991.

The book is divided into three parts. The first contains biographical entries resembling those in the more famous Who's Who volumes. The second part provides statistical evidence about the number and location of women in political life while the third contains a |biographical index' arranged by nation. Whom to include in such a guide is always a problem and the editor, unlike many, has given her criteria: those to be included must be a head of state, a member of a government or national legislature, a leader of a political party or trade union, or, finally, a |regional leader'.

The |Statistical Survey of Women in World Politics', which makes up the second section, is perhaps the most interesting. There are seven female heads of state and four prime ministers. Women have a better chance of getting elected to national parliaments if they live in the |developed' world, that is, Europe, North America and what used to be called the |White Dominions'. In Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East there are very few women in government. The Scandinavian countries are the best performers, especially Norway where there is |positive discrimination' in favour of women in Government. The number of women in parliaments has actually fallen after the collapse of the old puppet regimes in Communist controlled Eastern Europe.

This will prove a valuable reference work for the future and is a welcome addition to the Bowker-Saur lists.
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Author:Mullen, Richard
Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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