Malliga Och, Ph.D.

Idaho State University

Phone: 2082823717

Address: 921 South 8th Avenue, Stop 806

City: Pocatello, Idaho - 83209

Country: United States

About Me:

I am an Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Idaho State University since 2016 where I teach international and comparative politics. In my free time, I am the co-host of Know Your Media, a monthly radio show on the role of media in today's society which is aired by KISU public radio. You can listen to past shows on #MeToo, the Year of the Woman, and many more topics on the show's website.Before life in academia, I was the Research Director of Political Parity, a former program of Hunt Alternatives in Cambridge MA and the former Co-Chair of the Denver for CEDAW Campaign, a program by the United Nations Association USA which urges US cities to adopt the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination as defined in the UN Convention to End All forms of Discrimination Against Women in city ordinances. I have been an active committee member for organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, The White House Project, Vote Run Lead, NAAAP, Big Sister Boston, the Blossom Project, and the United Nations Association Denver. I am the 2018 recipient of Deborah "Misty" Gerner Award for Professional Development given by Women's Caucus for International Studies of the International Studies Association as well as the 2018 recipient of the Yellow Rose given by Zonta International Pocatello Club for her contribution in the community to advance women’s equality. 

Research Interests

Gender and Politics

European Politics

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Representation and Electoral Systems

Specific Areas of Interest

Women And Politics

Feminist Policy Studies

Republican Women

Christian Democracy

German Politics

Conservative Women

Election Of Women

Women And Elections

Women In Parliament

Women's Political Representation

Women's Political Recruitment

Corporate Gender Equality

Gender And Partisanship

Gender And Politics

Gender Equality Laws

Work-family Policies

Countries of Interest


United States

My Research:

I'm an expert on women in conservative parties both in the United States and in other advanced industrialized countries. Shauna Shames and I are the co-editors of The Right Women: Republican Activists, Candidates, and Lawmakers (Praeger Press 2018) and several op-eds on the lack of Republican Women in Office including the Huffington Post and The Conversation. I have been quoted in USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquier, Public Radio International, and VICE news on the same subject matter. As the former Research Director of Political Parity, a former program of the Hunt Alternative Fund, I supervised research projects exploring innovative strategies to increase the number of women in US Politics, including the Primary Hurdles report which underlies the particular barriers GOP women face in the primary process. I am a German native and my research focuses on women's representation in Christian Democratic parties, particular in Germany where I have explored the reasons behind Angela Merkel's support for feminist policies with a particular focus on parental leave and corporate board quotas. You can read my op-eds on gender and populist right parties in Europe (co-authored with Jennifer Piscopo) in The Conversation and the Duck of Minerva Blog. My work has also been featured in leading German outlets such as the GIZ Akzente Magazin and LIBERAL, the magazin of the Friedrich Neumann Stiftung.


Journal Articles:

(2019) Conservative Feminists? An Exploration of Feminist Arguments in Parliamentary Debates of the Bundestag, Parliamentary Affairs

Tags: Gender and Politics, European Politics, Representation and Electoral Systems

Past studies have shown that conservative governments and parties are unlikely places for women’s representation, especially for feminist policy adoption. Contrary to existing studies, this article argues that conservative governments can be places for feminist interests’ representation. To demonstrate this, I analyse the parliamentary discourse surrounding two instances of feminist policy adoption under Germany’s conservative government in 2006 and 2015, respectively. I find that in both instances, feminist arguments dominated the debates and, most importantly, that these findings still hold when controlling for party ideology.

(2018) Womenomics under Abe's Leadership Signs of Feminisation of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party?, Representation

Tags: Asian Politics, Gender and Politics

Japanese Prime Minister Abe is known for his efforts to advance gender equality through womenomics. This seems to put Japan in line with other countries where conservative leaders have embraced gender equality to win back young and female voters and to modernise the image of conservative parties. While electoral calculation drives feminisation in the majority of cases, we argue that this is not the case in Japan. Instead, economic and international pressures are more important drivers than electoral calculations.

(2018) The local diffusion of international human rights norms – understanding the cities for CEDAW campaign, International Feminist Journal of Politics

Tags: Human Rights, Urban Politics

While the international human rights norm literature has revolved mainly around the diffusion and implementation of human rights at the national and global level, less is known how international human rights norms are adopted on the local level. To fill this gap, this article will focus on the Cities for Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) campaign which encourages cities in the United States to adopt ordinances incorporating principles set forth by UN CEDAW. This article will analyze how the Cities for CEDAW campaign frames international gender norms to make them relevant in local contexts. Drawing on original interviews with Cities for CEDAW activists, this article will further our understanding how local human rights activists can utilize international human rights treaties to integrate human rights norms on the local level.

(2008) “Talking about my Generation and Class? Unpacking the Descriptive Representation of Women in Asian Parliaments.”, elsevier

Tags: Asian Politics, Gender and Politics, Comparative Political Institutions

Since women (like men) differ in their interests and perspectives, we argue, that studies of the descriptive representation of women in politics ought to consider not only how many women are elected, but also which segments of the female population are proportionally represented and under-represented. Applying this framework to new data on the demographic characteristics of over 4000 members of parliament from sixteen countries in Asia, we find female MPs typically unrepresentative of their country's female populations at the pivotal intersections of social class and generation. With few exceptions, the majority of women (those who are young, elderly, in working-class occupations, and with average levels of education) are highly under-represented despite considerable variation across countries in electoral systems, quotas for female representation, and levels of socio-economic development. These findings raise interesting questions and offer new avenues for future research on the descriptive representation and substantive representation of women in politics.

Books Written:

(2018) The Right Women Republican Party Activists, Candidates, and Legislators, Praeger

Tags: Gender and Politics, Political Parties and Interest Groups, Legislative Politics

with Shauna Shames. Democrats now have three times as many women in office as the GOP. What are the barriers to Republican women's advancement, both within the party and beyond?

Book Chapters:

(2018) “The Feminization of the Grand Old Party?”, Praeger

Tags: Gender and Politics, Political Parties and Interest Groups

Discusses the attempts of the GOP to attract female voters.

Book Reviews:

(2019) Book review: Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation, Party Politics

Tags: European Politics, Political Parties and Interest Groups

Book review: Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation

(2018) Gender, Intersections, and Institutions. Intersectional Groups Building Alliances and Gaining Voice in Germany, German Politics

Tags: European Politics

"Gender, Intersections, and Institutions. Intersectional Groups Building Alliances and Gaining Voice in Germany." German Politics, 27(2), pp. 290–291

(2017) Review of Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why It Matters, Taylor & Francis

Tags: Gender and Politics, Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Book Review of Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why It Matters


(2018) DENVER For CEDAW. A Report on the Status of the Cities for CEDAW Campaign to Inform the Adoption of a CEDAW Ordinance in Denver, UNA Denver

Tags: Human Rights, Urban Politics

The United States is one of seven countries and the only advanced industrialized country in the world that has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Being frustrated with the slow (or non-existent) pace of Senate ratification since 1981, the Cities for CEDAW campaign decided that American women can no longer wait for the U.S. Senate to act. Cities for CEDAW is a national campaign which encourages American municipalities to adopt a CEDAW ordinance to enshrine the international gender norms of substantive gender equity and nondiscrimination into municipal codes. San Francisco was the first city to adopt a CEDAW ordinance in 1995 and today, seven cities have adopted CEDAW ordinances while 24 cities have CEDAW resolutions, including Boulder, Lafayette, and Louisville, in Colorado.

(2016) Where Women Win, Hunt Alternatives

Tags: Gender and Politics, Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

After Political Parity released its groundbreaking “Twin States” research in 2013, revealing the phenomenon that states with one woman in a top office are more likely to elect other high-level women, we wondered if this was true at the congressional level as well.

(2015) Clearing the Primary Hurdles. Republican Women and the GOP Gender Gap, Hunt Alternatives

Tags: Gender and Politics, Political Parties and Interest Groups

We worked with some of the nation’s top political consultants, pollsters, and researchers to understand why Democratic women are elected to Congress at far greater rates than their Republican counterparts.

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2017) Pocatello Community Media

“Alternative Gift Market”, Main Street News & Views,

Radio Appearances:

(2017) KISU Public Radio

“Know your Media” Show co-host, This program is dedicated to critically examining the media and how to be responsible consumers of information and conscientious citizens. Each week, we will invite guests on to the show to discuss contemporary issues and how to navigate the complex webs of information and entertainment in which we are immersed.

Newspaper Quotes:

(2019) USA Today

Domestic violence survivors elected to Congress get support, national voice

(2019) The Philadelphia Inquirer

In the women’s movement of 2019, where do Republicans fit in?

(2019) USA Today

'Year of the Woman'? Not for Republican women in the House, where their ranks have plunged to a 25-year low

(2018) Public Radio International

In the #MeToo era, young conservative women look for their spot

(2018) VICE News


Blog Posts:

(2017) The Conversation

Macron and Trudeau shouldn’t be so proud of appointing women to their Cabinets.

(2017) The Conversation

(with Jennifer Piscopo) Marine Le Pen didn’t win over women. Can anyone on the far right?

(2017) Huffington Post

(with Shauna Shames) Marching Beyond Red vs. Blue.

(2017) Duck of Minerva

(with Jennifer Piscopo) From the Stove to the Frontlines? Gender and Populism in Latin American and Western Europe. 2017/01/wptpn-from-the-stove-to-the-frontlines-gender-and-populism-in-latin-american-and-western-europe.html

(2015) Political Parity Blog

Do high chairs belong in higher office?

(2015) Political Parity Blog

A growing political force?


(2019) GIZ Akzente Magazin

Women have increasingly taken top-level political posts. Although we are still far from equal power-sharing, women are clearly advancing in historic numbers. Will the 21st century be the ‘century of women’? US Assistant Professor Malliga Och describes the long road to power.

(2019) The Conversation

Only 1 out of 36 newly elected female representatives in Congress is Republican – here’s why it matters

(2014) Vote, Run Lead National Training

Trainer for panel: “Real Talk. Get and Use the Facts.”

(2014) Raising Ms. President Google Hangout

“Post Midterm Election Analysis.” Raising Ms. President Google Hangout