Women Policymakers Framing their Leadership and Lives in Relation to Terrorism: The Basque Case

Candice Ortbals, Lori Poloni-Staudinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We examine terrorism from the perspective of women political elites in the Basque regions of Spain and France, asking whether women are present as policymakers in terrorism politics and how they frame the impact of terrorism on their leadership and lives. To assess women’s presence as policymakers, we report the representation of Spanish and French women in executive leadership and terrorism-related portfolios. We find that women are not equally represented, and they do not participate at the highest levels of terrorism policymaking. To understand how women frame their leadership and lives as related to terrorism, we analyze 14 interviews of women politicians, in which women express that they are equal to men and frame their actions in terms of maternal identity and their claimed ability to relate to citizens. By reporting the frames women politicians use to describe themselves, this article shows how women politicians negotiate gender identities as related to terrorism policy and shows that women politicians have a complex understanding of gender as it relates to equality, care, and terrorism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-144
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Women, Politics and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • Basque
  • Spain
  • Terrorism
  • feminism
  • feminist
  • frames
  • gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Women Policymakers Framing their Leadership and Lives in Relation to Terrorism: The Basque Case'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this