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Gender Parity and Political Involvement
The Payoff from Women’s Rights
The United States should support women’s rights around the world in developing countries, as the paper argues it is a smart economic decision. The author uses historical evidence to explain the benefit of promoting women’s rights and U.S.’s involvement in this cause thus far. The paper illustrates the U.S. current involvement in advocating for human rights and provides recommendations to the government for increasing their commitment to the issue.
Women and Government Budgets
Government policies are assumed to affect everyone equally and serve the public interest. However, most recently, governments have recognized that their policies are affecting different groups disproportionately. In particular, in Australia a ‘Women’s Budget’ has been created to highlight women’s needs and interests, reflecting how a budget affects women’s status politically and economically. Thus far, politicians have used the tool to publicize their achievements related to women’s issues. Therefore, this paper uses secondary research to analyze women’s budget programs and their limitations as well as provide recommendations for improving these programs.
What Does the Glass Ceiling Cost You?
The author looks at what increased recruitment of female employees and managers as a result of weak retention is costing companies. Replacement cost of an employee totals 93% of the departing employee’s annual salary while gender bias is affecting applicants for positions in top management. In addition, when female employees stay in their company after starting a family, they receive less benefits in terms of coaching, appraisals, feedback, and mentoring, when compared to their male counterparts. However, when a female can benefits from these experiences, they have an increase of 94% in professional effectiveness. The author provides recommendations for women and companies, based on experiences and research, about how to break the glass ceiling to advancement.
Women’s Presence in Politics and Male Politicians Commitment to Gender Equality in Politics: Evidence from 290 Swedish Local Councils
A part of eliminating the gender gap throughout the world is increasing women’s leadership positions and political participation to make progress towards gender equality. It has been argued that equal representation in politics brings about reforms for women’s interests. This paper provides a comprehensive empirical test with a survey of 13,000 local politicians in Sweden, addressing male politicians’ attitudes towards gender equality as an abstract ideal and their willingness to stand for women’s interests in practice. The key findings show that there is a negative association between a greater presence of women and male politicians’ willingness to strive for women’s interests. However, there is no effect on male politicians’ support for gender equality as an ideal. The paper argues that this finding indicates it may be costly for male politicians to personally strive for women’s interests, whereas standing up for the ideal of gender equality does not cost them.
Using the Qur’ān to Empower Arab Women? Theory and Experimental Evidence From Egypt
Muslim countries often include patriarchal attitudes and the subordination of women. An argument is growing arguing for progressive reinterpretations of Islamic scriptures to encourage the participation of women in social, political, and economic systems. Therefore, this study explore the this hypothesis with a large survey experiment conducted with adult Egyptians in 2013 In the study, a subset of respondents were exposed to an argument in favor of women’s political equality that was grounded in the Qur’ān. The found that this group was significantly more willing to express approval of female political leadership than those exposed to a non-religious argument in favor of women’s eligibility for political leadership. More analysis suggests that religious justification for female political leadership was more likely to result in agreement among less educated and less religiously devout respondents, and when delivered by women and targeted at men. Therefore, results suggest that progressive Islamic scripture can also be used to help empower women in society and politics.
“Engendering” Politics: The Impact of Descriptive Representation on Women’s Political Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa
The idea that putting more women into political institutions will eliminate the gender gap seen in political engagement between women and men is studied in the paper. The gender gap in political engagement varies based on countries and timing and previous studies show that more women in political positions encourages political engagement of women by citizen level. This study uses Afrobarometer data from 20 African countries across four survey from 1999 to 2008, controlling for the sex of the respondent, the percentage of women in the legislature and the interaction of these two variables. The findings suggest that in fact that as women’s representation in government increase, the political engagement gender gap decreases, encouraging the political engagement of women at the citizen level.
Does gender matter for political leadership? The case of U.S. mayors
This study looks at the consequences of electing more female leaders to political positions with the case of U.S. mayors in cities where women’s participation in mayoral elections increased from small numbers in 1970 to about one-third of the elections in the 2000’s. A data set of U.S. mayoral elections from 1950 to 2005 was analyzed using regressions. The study could not find the influence of female leadership on policy outcomes related to size of local government, composition of municipal spending and employment, or crime rates. However, female majors have at least a 5 percentage point higher incumbent effect than male counterparts. More research must be performed to evaluate other consequences of female participation in politics.
Do female politicians empower women to vote or run for office? A regression discontinuity approach
This paper focuses on the idea that more women in office and running for positions in politics encourages more female participation in government in terms of other women voting or running for office. Using a regression discontinuity approach with data on 3813 U.S. state legislative elections where a women ran for office against a man, this study finds that there is not a causal effect on other women’s political participation in government. These findings differ from others, especially in India, indicating that though electing the first woman in a position can be empowering, other barriers must be present that keep women from entering political positions and being included in the American democracy.
When politics is not just a man's game: Women's representation and political engagement
This paper explores whether the persistence of women in office and as political candidates empowers more political engagement among women. In order to study this idea, the author uses data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems to analyze how electing women in legislatures across 35 countries influences women’s political engagement and attitudes about the political process. Findings suggest that sex differences in political engagement and political attitudes are seen in many countries. Positive attitudes about the political process are associated when females are in office, but this effect is seen by both men and women. Therefore, more women in politics does not necessarily empower more women to engage in politics, suggesting that other factors or barriers may be keeping women from engaging in politics further.
Quotas for women in elected legislatures: Do they really empower women?
This paper uses secondary research to study the effectiveness of quotas for female representation in politics. Several countries have adopted a 30% rule for reservations of women in electoral bodies with the mindset that an increase in women legislators would lead to more women-friendly policies and equal decision-making. However, the paper argues that the effectiveness of quotas to create more gender-equal policies depends on the types of party systems and electoral systems. For example, using proportional representation with a fixed party list system, as some countries use, will increase party loyalists, therefore, the women’s impact on policy is limited. However, under the single-constituency system, women elected have greater influence on policy. Therefore, the effectiveness of quotes depends on different circumstances and political structure.
Gender quotas, democracy, and women's representation in Africa: Some insights from democratic Botswana and autocratic Rwanda
Many debate the use of quotas for women’s representation in politics in African nations where gender gaps are often wider. Advocates argue that quotas expedite the advancement of women-friendly policies and the social status of women in communities. However, those reluctant argue that quotas can be meaningless in sub-Saharan Africa where political influence is weak and executives are strong while quotas may even further undermine democracy. This paper focuses on two cases in Africa where quotas were used: Botswana, a stable multiparty country, and Rwanda, an authoritarian single party country. The two countries illustrate a different story about the influence of quotas to promote women’s interests and policies. In Botswana, women’s parliamentary representation is still low and has been unsuccessful in achieving quotas while in Rwanda there was a majority female lower house of parliament. Therefore, this may suggest that gender quotas are easier to adopt in single-party governments and elected women are able to represent women’s interests. However, in democratic governments like Botswana this may be more difficult, but quotas still help give more voice to women's issues.
Beyond Quotas: Strategies to Promote Gender Equality in Elected Office
As gender equality is a concern for political leadership in governments around the world, strategies to increase female participation mainly include using quotas. Gender quotas are policies that set a certain percentage of female participation in a political party or other electoral assemblies. However, this paper argues that gender quotas do not include the larger efforts and strategies used to bring more women into political positions. Therefore, this paper discusses other strategies used to encourage women to enter politics and win electoral positions. The paper develops a framework for potential interventions to encourage gender equality from bringing more women into the political spotlight to helping more women win elections. The paper presents creative strategies in addition for reaching gender equality in politics by using secondary data and research. Results indicate that more research should be done to evaluate the effects of these strategies in addition to quotas.
Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity
The 2012 World Development Report brings to light the importance of voice and agency for women. Voice for women means the ability for them to make decisions, contribute to society, and take advantage of opportunities to advance their position in society. This report compiles data from thousands of surveys to bring knowledge to the idea of voice and agency for women. In particular, the paper highlights constraints women face in agency and strategies to empower women’s voice, including life-skills training, reproductive health education, conditional cash transfers, and mentoring. In addition, the report emphasizes the idea that violence against women can be improved by increasing engagement with men and boys. The role of information and communication technologies in emphasizing women's voices and its power to increase perspective is analyzed in this paper. Ending poverty and increasing prosperity require equal participation of women and men.
Empowering Women is Smart Economics
This paper acknowledges the additional work required to eliminate gender gaps around the world. In particular, it argues for policies that promote gender equality to reduce the excess mortality of women and girls, provide primary education for all, increase women’s access to economic opportunity, and diminish unequal societal expectations for women in the household. The paper provides diagrams to explain the effect of policies on gender equality and the stakeholders involved in lifting women onto an equal playing field. Therefore, more intervention is necessary from governments to make gender equality a priority.
Empowering Grassroots Women In Burma
This paper is about an initiative to bring women together for the goal of enhanced learning and knowledge sharing. The issue of economic opportunity for women in Burma is difficult and in places like India, with grassroot groups like the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), women have seen success in uniting. Therefore in August 2015, USAID brought SEWA to talk with women in Burma during a five day meeting and converse about economic empowerment, uniting women leaders, innovative ideas to help women, and strategies for providing more skills and learning opportunities. SEWA has been successful in empowering 1.8 million women to become self-employed in India, therefore the meeting in Burma brought out synergies, ideas for development, and approaches for empowering vulnerable women, once more illustrating the power of a network and uniting women.