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The Gender Gap in African Political Participation: Testing Theories of Individual and Contextual Determinants

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  • Ann-Sofie Isaksson
  • Andreas Kotsadam
  • M�ns Nerman

Abstract

This article aims to test whether existing theories of what factors underlie the gender gap in political participation apply in an African context. Empirical estimations drawing on recent data covering over 27,000 respondents across 20 African emerging democracies suggest that whereas several of the investigated factors - structural differences in individual resource endowments and employment, and cultural differences based in religious affiliations - are found to be important determinants of participation, they explain only a very modest share of the observed gender gaps. Suggestive evidence instead points to the role of clientelism, restricted civil liberties, economic development and gender norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann-Sofie Isaksson & Andreas Kotsadam & M�ns Nerman, 2014. "The Gender Gap in African Political Participation: Testing Theories of Individual and Contextual Determinants," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 302-318, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:50:y:2014:i:2:p:302-318
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2013.833321
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bartels, Larry, 2005. "Economic Inequality and Political Representation," Papers 08-11-2005, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    2. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2010. "Political participation in Africa: Participatory inequalities and the role of resources," Working Papers in Economics 462, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Oct 2010.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cools, Sara & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2017. "Resources and Intimate Partner Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 211-230.
    2. Bernt Bratsberg & Andreas Kotsadam & Jo Thori Lind & Halvor Mehlum & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2019. "Election Turnout Inequality - Insights from Administrative Registers," CESifo Working Paper Series 7465, CESifo.
    3. Olayemi M. Olabiyi, 2020. "Electoral participation and household food insecurity in sub‐Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 32(3), pages 392-403, September.
    4. Ivar Kolstad & Arne Wiig, 2016. "How do voters respond to information on self-serving elite behaviour? Evidence from a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers 9, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Ivar Kolstad & Arne Wiig, 2016. "How do voters respond to information on self-serving elite behaviour? Evidence from a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers 9, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    6. Konte, Maty & Osei Kwadwo, Victor & Zinyemba, Tatenda, 2019. "Women's political and reproductive health empowerment in Africa: A literature review," MERIT Working Papers 2019-044, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Breuer, Anita & Asiedu, Edward, 2017. "Can Gender-Targeted Employment Interventions Help Enhance Community Participation? Evidence from Urban Togo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 390-407.
    8. Gottlieb, Jessica, 2016. "Why Might Information Exacerbate the Gender Gap in Civic Participation? Evidence from Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 95-110.
    9. Bleck, Jaimie & Michelitch, Kristin, 2018. "Is women’s empowerment associated with political knowledge and opinions? Evidence from rural Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 299-323.

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