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Sahar Parsa is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University.
Abstract: We study female representation in the Philippines. We first provide evidence for a previously understudied channel for female access to office: binding term limits constitute critical junctures in which dynastic women are 240 percent more likely to access political office. We then show that in municipalities where a term-limited incumbent was replaced by a relative, there are no differences in policy outcomes between those governed by a male or female mayor. We argue that the channel through which women enter elected office matters for whether female descriptive representation translates into substantive female representation. When women access office through a dynastic channel there is no gender mandate. Female politicians may be more responsive to the interests of their family (rather than those of other women) or may be unable to represent female preferences, as they are often figureheads or benchwarmers of previous relatives.