Do Men and Women Have Different Policy Preferences in Africa? Determinants and Implications of Gender Gaps in Policy Prioritization

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Authors Jessica J. Gottlieb, Guy Grossman, Amanda Lea Robinson
Journal/Conference Name BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Policies designed to increase women’s representation in Africa are often motivated by the assumption that men and women have different policy preferences. This article finds that gender differences in policy priorities are actually quite small on average, but vary significantly across policy domains and countries. The study leverages this variation to show that the economic and social empowerment of women influences the size of gender gaps in the prioritization of two important domains. In particular, women’s participation in the labor force – an indicator of economic empowerment – narrows the gender gap in the prioritization of infrastructure investment and access to clean water, while social vulnerability widens the gap on prioritizing infrastructure investment. Finally, the article shows that the places where women and men have the most divergent policy preferences – and thus where formal representation is most important – are precisely the places where women are currently the most poorly represented and least active in formal politics.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language R
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