In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka made history when she was appointed the world's first woman prime minister. In the half-century following her achievement, fewer than eighty women worldwide have attained the office of prime minister or president. In 2010, women held just seventeen of the world's 252 executive posts - slightly less than seven percent. What prevents women from attaining executive office? And why, despite the progress made by women in other political arenas, have these positions remained stubbornly male?
In Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?, Farida Jalalzai explores the patterns of women executive's paths, powers, and potential impacts. Jalalzai explains the mechanisms that push politically active women into relatively weak posts and why women who successfully attain executive office almost always hail from political families within unstable systems. Combining a broad understanding of global dynamics of executive power with detailed studies of individual women leaders, Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact? analyzes how institutionally embedded gender expectations limit women's representational impact.
Fifty years have passed since Ms. Bandaranaike's appointment. In Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?, Jalalzai provides a comprehensive and urgently needed analysis of the factors that prevent women from achieving the world's highest political offices.