GENPOLEAD “Assessing obstacles and inequalities in gender and LGBT+ political leadership and careers.”
University of Pavia – University of Milan – University of Verona

The GENPOLEAD project aims to investigate the gendered dimension of political careers by taking into account both the structural, contextual and individual-level factors that hinders female and LGBT+ politicians’ access to positions of leadership in main political offices. With a focus on Italy as a case study, we will study the determinants of political leadership and their different effects in shaping women and LGBT+ politicians’ careers both at the national and local level. The main ambition of the project is twofold: to provide a thorough descriptive analysis of gendered political inequalities in Italy and to propose innovative theoretical and instrumental tools for the development of policy guidelines aimed at effectively promoting political equality.

To do so, the project will address three main objectives:
OBJECTIVE 1. To analyze the determinants of political careers and the presence of gendered obstacles to access to main political offices;
OBJECTIVE 2. To investigate the specific interaction between gender, gender identity and sexual orientation in shaping political careers;
OBJECTIVE 3. To rethink the current understanding of democracy in assessing the role of gender and create an accurate measure of gendered political leadership.

The research program carried out at the University of Verona, lead by Massimo Prearo, aims to study the role that gender identity and sexual orientation, from an intersectional perspective, play in the political careers of LGBT+ people, also including their trajectory of activism and their access to leadership positions in political parties and local, national, European or international institutions. Therefore, the research aims to analyze the contextual factors that influence LGBT+ elected politicians careers and to study the socio-biographical factors that characterize individual trajectories and profiles. Both systemic and institutional factors and organizational factors within parties or social movements will be considered.

Research Team: Massimo Prearo and Federico Trastulli