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Slave Trades, Kinship Structures and Women Political Participation in Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Leone Walters

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa)

  • Carolyn Chisadza

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa)

  • Matthew Clance

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa)

Abstract

We study whether present-day women political participation in sub-Saharan Africa can be linked to the temporary gender ratio imbalances caused by the transatlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, taking into account pre-existing gender norms influenced by kinship structures. Using individual-level data for 29 sub-Saharan African countries from the latest Afrobarometer surveys, ethnic region kinship and slave trade data, we find that a woman's ethnic region exposure to the transatlantic slave trade is associated with an increase in her likelihood to vote, however, only in non-patrilineal ethnic regions. This effect is mitigated in patrilineal ethnic regions, where women have less decision-making power. This paper contributes to the literature on the contemporary sub-national effects of the slave trades and the historical causes of gender gaps in political participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Leone Walters & Carolyn Chisadza & Matthew Clance, 2021. "Slave Trades, Kinship Structures and Women Political Participation in Africa," Working Papers 202156, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:202156
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Slave Trade; Gender; Africa;
    All these keywords.

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