Societal Views of Women as Political Leaders in the Arab World
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The Arab World is notorious for its poor track record on issues of women’s rights and women’s representation in society, particularly in the public sphere. Yet women are making gains, particularly in countries such as Tunisia and Algeria where strong laws supporting women in politics have led to substantial numbers of women in the legislature. Furthermore, women have served in national cabinets throughout the region. Does this increase in women’s political participation, especially as officeholders, have an effect on the perception of women’s roles in government and society? This question is explored through a cross-national analysis of 13 countries using public opinion data to analyze the relationship between women in political positions in legislatures and cabinets and citizens’ view of women’s political leadership. I find that in the short term, greater numbers of women in government do not necessarily correspond to greater public support for women in politics, particularly when a legislative gender quota is in place.
Mitchell, Erin Sidonia (2016). Societal Views of Women as Political Leaders in the Arab World. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from