By focusing on visible minority women in Germany, this article contributes to an emerging field of intersectional research on political representation. Research on minority women’s access to politics is still limited despite Germany’s sizable immigrant population. To fill this gap, this article provides recent data on the descriptive representation of visible minority women at both the federal and state level. Furthermore, it seeks to explain differences in political representation, primarily why the representation of minority women at the federal level and in some states is better than that of minority men, while in other states it is the reverse. Since traditional institutional explanations, such as gender quotas and electoral systems, provide only part of the solution to this intersectional puzzle, this article argues that informal practices of individual party elites need to be considered. Qualitative interviews with visible minority women in German politics suggest that some party elites actively promote minority women, while others overlook or even discriminate against them, contributing an additional explanation of why minority women’s access to politics is easier in some cases than in others.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in German Politics on 2 April 2020, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09644008.2020.1748601
- political representation
- migration background
- German politics