This study presents a novel analysis of women’s qualifications compared to men in the Korean National Assembly (KNA) from 1948 to 2020. Throughout this period, women’s parliamentary representation in South Korea lagged severely behind women’s share of the voting population, a gap that may have stemmed from public perceptions that unlike their male counterparts, women members of parliament (MPs) are “underqualified.” But are they really underqualified? Drawing upon the biographies of all MPs to have served in the KNA until 2020, this study finds KNA women parliamentarians’ educational qualifications, ages, and incumbency rates to have risen considerably over time with women now more likely to hold advanced academic degrees than their male counterparts. Hence, this study concludes that although women in the Korean National Assembly may to a certain extent be “differently qualified” than male legislators, they can no longer be said to be “underqualified” compared to male MPs.
Ⅱ. Literature Review and Hypotheses
Ⅲ. Data and Methods
Ⅳ. Empirical Analysis