Gender Discrimination in Politics: A Critical Review of Liberalism

  • Alexander Makulilo
Keywords: Liberalism, gender, discrimination, politics, masculinization, rationality


Liberal political theory assumes that the separation of the public from the private sphere is natural and therefore woman’s subordination to man is inherent. The backdrop of this dichotomy appears to reinforce gender stereotyping since it constructs woman to reflect an apolitical nature of a subject in a political system. Man’s behaviour, on the other hand, is portrayed as the standard political behaviour against which a woman is supposed to measure. Viewed from the perspective of the dichotomy, politics is reduced to “man” and hence its masculinisation. Camouflaging its exclusionary tendencies, liberal theory purports to employ “universal”- neutral static language which is “sexual-blind” such as “individual”, “citizen”, “worker”, “equality”, and “representation”. Liberalism therefore makes universal rationality the essence of humanity and the basis of its epistemology and politics. This article examines the core of liberalism as one of the sources of gender discrimination in politics.

Author Biography

Alexander Makulilo

University of Dodoma


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0856-6739