Gender difference in support for democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do social institutions matter?

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Several recent papers have noted gender differences in support for democracy in Africa, but the causes of this difference remain unclear. This article investigates whether the observed gender gap is due to the related gender inequality in social institutions, which affects women's daily life and deprives them of social and economic empowerment inside and outside the home. Using Afrobarometer survey data (rounds 2 [2002–3], 3 [2004–5], and 4 [2008–9]), the study finds that the gender difference in support for democracy is no longer significant once gender discrimination is controlled for in the family code, physical integrity, or civil liberties components of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI). Interaction terms show that women's support for democracy is only lower in places where gender inequality in these social institutions is particularly large. This study thus provides evidence that women who live in countries with favorable institutions toward women are more supportive of democracy than women who do not.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

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