Advertisement

Gender Stereotypes, Political Leadership, and Voting Behavior in Tunisia

  • Alexandra Domike BlackmanEmail author
  • Marlette Jackson
Original Paper
  • 58 Downloads

Abstract

Although female political representation in the Arab world has nearly doubled in the last decade, little is known about how voters in the region view female politicians and their political platforms, particularly in a new democracy like Tunisia. We conduct original conjoint and vignette survey experiments to examine the effects of candidate gender and gender- and leadership-congruent political platforms on voter support. Building on role congruity theory, we find evidence of bias against female candidates among voters, particularly among respondents who hold patriarchal gender norms. Additionally, we find that all respondents are more likely to prefer candidates who emphasize security issues rather than women’s rights. Overall, our study suggests that female candidates who emphasize issues congruent with stereotypes of political leadership, such as security, can increase voter support, though respondents also reward male candidates who appeal to leadership congruent issues.

Keywords

Tunisia Political representation Elections Women Gender 

Notes

Supplementary material

11109_2019_9582_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2 mb)
Electronic supplementary material 1 (PDF 2077 kb)

References

  1. Afrobarometer Data. (2015). Tunisia, Round 6. Retrieved from http://www.afrobarometer.org.
  2. Agence France-Presse (AFP). (2016). Tunisia mulls women soldiers to face ‘new challenges’. Al-Arabiya. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/Tpki1e.
  3. Ahmed, L. (1992). Women and gender in islam: historical roots of a modern debate. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Alesina, A., Giuliano, P., & Nunn, N. (2013). On the origins of gender roles: Women and the plough. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(2), 469–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alexander, D., & Andersen, K. (1993). Gender as a factor in the attribution of leadership traits. Political Research Quarterly, 46(3), 527–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Altemeyer, R. A., & Jones, K. (1974). Sexual identity, physical attractiveness and seating position as determinants of influence in discussion groups. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 6, 357–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Anderson, L. (2011). Demystifying the Arab spring: Parsing the differences between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Foreign Affairs, 90(3), 2–7.Google Scholar
  8. Arab Barometer. (2016). Arab Barometer: Public opinion survey conducted in Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Tunisia, 2016–2017. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.Google Scholar
  9. BabNet. (2018). The proportion of female mayors in Tunisia is 19.5 percent and remains below expectations (Minister of Women) [Arabic]. BabNet. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Z9ahwh.
  10. Barnes, T., & Burchard, S. (2013). “Engendering” politics: The impact of descriptive representation on women’s political engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Comparative Political Studies, 46(7), 767–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bauer, N. (2015). Emotional, sensitive, and unfit for office? Gender stereotype activation and support female candidates. Political Psychology, 36(6), 691–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bauer, N. (2017). The effects of counter-stereotypic gender strategies on candidate evaluations. Political Psychology, 38(2), 279–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bennett, J. M. (2006). History matters: Patriarchy and the challenge of feminism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  14. Benstead, L., Jamal, A., & Lust, E. (2015). Is it gender, religiosity or both? A role congruity theory of candidate electability in transitional Tunisia. Perspectives on Politics, 13(1), 74–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Berman, C., & Nugent, E. (2015). Defining political choices: Tunisia’s second democratic elections from the ground up. The Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution Analysis Paper, 38, 1–30.Google Scholar
  16. Blackman, A. D., Clark, J., & Sasmaz, A. (2018). Introducing the Tunisian local election candidate survey (LECS): A new approach to studying local governance. Democracy International Policy Brief.Google Scholar
  17. Blaydes, L., & Linzer, D. (2008). The political economy of women’s support for fundamentalist Islam. World Politics, 60, 576–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brand, L. (1998). Women, the State, and political liberalization: Middle Eastern and North African experiences. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Buehler, M. (2016). Do you have ‘connections’ at the courthouse? An original survey on informal influence and judicial rulings in Morocco. Political Research Quarterly, 69(4), 760–772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bush, S., & Gao, E. (2017). Small tribes, big gains the strategic uses of gender quotas in the middle east. Comparative Politics, 49(2), 149–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bush, S., & Jamal, A. (2015). Anti-Americanism, authoritarian politics, and attitudes about women’s representation: Evidence from a survey experiment in Jordan. International Studies Quarterly, 59, 34–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Bush, S., & Prather, L. (2018). How officeholder gender shapes the political engagement of constituents: Evidence from a experiment in Tunisia. Working Paper.Google Scholar
  23. Carli, L. L. (1991). Gender, status, and influence. Advances in Group Processes, 8, 89–113.Google Scholar
  24. Carli, L. L., & Eagly, A. H. (2001). Gender, hierarchy, and leadership: An introduction. Journal of Social Issues, 57(4), 629–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Carli, L. L., LaFleur, S. J., & Loeber, C. C. (1995). Nonverbal behavior, gender, and influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 1030–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Carli, L. L., & Olm-Shipman, C. (2000). Gender differences in task and social behavior: A meta-analytic review. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College.Google Scholar
  27. Carnes, N., & Lupu, N. (2016). Do voters dislike working-class candidates? Voter biases and the descriptive underrepresentation of the working class. American Political Science Review, 110(4), 832–844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Charrad, M. (1997). Policy shifts: State, Islam, and gender in Tunisia, 1930s–1990s. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 4(2), 284–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Charrad, M. (2001). States and women’s rights: The making of postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Charrad, M., & Zarrugh, A. (2014). Equal or complementary? Women in the new Tunisian constitution after the Arab Spring. The Journal of North African Studies, 19(2), 230–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Chattopadhyay, R., & Duflo, E. (2004). Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in India. Econometrica, 72(5), 1409–1443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Chomiak, L., & Entelis, J. (2011). The making of North Africa’s intifadas. Middle East Report, 259, 8–15.Google Scholar
  33. Clark, J., Sasmaz, A., & Blackman, A. D. (2018). List fillers or future leaders? Female candidates in Tunisia’s 2018 municipal elections. Democracy International Policy Brief.Google Scholar
  34. Clark, J., & Schwedler, J. (2003). Who opened the window? Women’s activism in Islamist parties. Comparative Politics, 35(3), 293–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Clayton, K., Ferwerda, J., & Horiuchi, Y. (2019). Exposure to immigration and admission preferences: Evidence from France. Political Behavior.Google Scholar
  36. Cryer, J. (2018). Navigating identity in campaign messaging: The influence of race & gender on strategy in U.S. Congressional Elections. Working Paper.Google Scholar
  37. Dolan, K. (2010). The impact of gender stereotyped evaluations on support for women candidates. Political Behavior, 32(1), 69–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Dolan, K. (2014). Gender stereotypes, candidate evaluations, and voting for women candidates: What really matters? Political Research Quarterly, 67(1), 96–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  40. Eagly, A. H., & Johnson, B. T. (1990). Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 233–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109(3), 573–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1984). Gender stereotypes stem from the distribution of women and men into social roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(4), 735–754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Eddy, M. (2013). Women finding their way in German politics. The New York Times. Retrieved fromhttps://goo.gl/44gX6x.
  44. Esarey, J., & Chirillo, G. (2013). Fairer sex? or purity myth? Corruption, gender, and institutional context. Politics & Gender, 9(4), 361–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Falbo, T., Hazen, M. D., & Linimon, D. (1982). The costs of selecting power bases or messages associated with the opposite sex. Sex Roles, 8, 147–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Fish, M. S. (2002). Islam and authoritarianism. World Politics, 55, 4–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Fox, R. L., & Oxley, Z. M. (2003). Gender stereotyping in state executive elections: Candidate selection and success. The Journal of Politics, 65(3), 833–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Franchino, F., & Zucchini, F. (2015). Voting in a multi-dimensional space: A conjoint analysis employing valence and ideology attributes of candidates. Political Science Research and Methods, 3(2), 221–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Gahler, M. (2014). Elections en Tunisie: Délégation d’observation des élections législatives et présidentielles. European Parliament. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/qvc4dp.
  50. Garcia-Retamero, R., & López-Zafra, E. (2006). Prejudice against women in male-congenial environments: Perceptions of gender role congruity in leadership. Sex Roles, 55(1–2), 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Glaeser, E., & Ma, Y. (2013). The supply of gender stereotypes and discriminating beliefs. NBER Working Paper 19109.Google Scholar
  52. Government of Tunisia. (2014). Loi organique n. 2014–16 du 26 mai 2014, relative aux élections et référendums. Journal Officiel de la République Tunisienne, 42, 1310–1331.Google Scholar
  53. Government of Tunisia. (2017). Loi organique n. 2017–7 du 14 février 2017, modifiant et complétant la loi organique n. 2014–16 du 26 mai 2014, relative aux élections et référendums. Journal Officiel de la République Tunisienne, 14, 731–740.Google Scholar
  54. Hainmueller, J., & Hopkins, D. (2015). The hidden American immigration consensus: A conjoint analysis of attitudes toward immigrants. American Journal of Political Science, 59(3), 529–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Hainmueller, J., Hopkins, D., & Yamamoto, T. (2014). Causal inference in conjoint analysis: Understanding multi-dimensional choices via stated preference experiments. Political Analysis, 22, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Hayes, B., & McAllister, I. (1997). Gender, party leaders, and election outcomes in Australia, Britain and the United States. Comparative Political Studies, 30(1), 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Herrnson, P., Lay, J. C., & Stokes, A. K. (2003). Women running ‘as women’: Candidate gender, campaign issues, and voter-targeting strategies. The Journal of Politics, 65(1), 244–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Holman, M. R., Merolla, J. L., & Zechmeister, E. J. (2011). Sex, stereotypes, and security: A study of the effects of terrorist threat on assessments of female leadership. Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, 32, 173–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Holman, M. R., Merolla, J. L., & Zechmeister, E. J. (2016). Terrorist threat, male stereotypes, and candidate evaluations. Political Research Quarterly, 69(1), 134–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Horiuchi, Y., Smith, D., & Yamamoto, T. (2016). Identifying voter preferences for politicians? Personal attributes: A conjoint experiment in Japan. Working paper.Google Scholar
  61. Huddy, L., & Capelos, T. (2002). Gender stereotyping and candidate evaluation: Good news and bad news for women politicians. In V. C. Ottati, R. S. Tindale, J. Edwards, F. B. Bryant, L. Heath, Y. Suarez-Balcazar, & E. J. Posavac (Eds.), The social psychology of politics: Research, policy, theory, practice. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  62. Javornisky, G. (1979). Task content and sex differences in conformity. Journal of Psychology, 108, 213–220.Google Scholar
  63. Jones, M. (2009). Gender quotas, electoral laws, and the election of women evidence from the latin American vanguard. Comparative Political Studies, 42(1), 56–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Khalil, A. (2014). Tunisia’s women: Partners in revolution. The Journal of North African Studies, 19(2), 186–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Kirkland, P., & Coppock, A. (2018). Candidate choice without party labels: New insights from U.S. mayoral elections 1945–2007 and conjoint survey experiments. Political Behavior, 40(3), 571–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Klar, S. (2018). When common identities decrease trust: An experimental study of Partisan women. American Journal of Political Science, 62(3), 610–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Koenig, A. M., Eagly, A. H., Mitchell, A. A., & Ristikari, T. (2011). Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin, 137(4), 616–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Krook, M. (2009). Quotas for women in politics: Gender and candidate selection reform worldwide. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Kunda, Z., & Oleson, K. (1997). When exceptions prove the rule: How extremity of deviance determines the impact of deviant examples on stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(5), 965–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Lawless, J. L. (2004). Women, war, and winning elections: gender stereotyping in the post-September 11th era. Political Research Quarterly, 57(3), 479–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Leeper, T., Hobolt, S., & Tilley, J. (2019). Measuring subgroup preferences in conjoint experiments. Political Analysis.Google Scholar
  72. Lefèvre, R. (2015). Tunisia: A fragile political transition. The Journal of North African Studies, 20(2), 307–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Mahmood, S. (2005). Politics of piety: The Islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Marsad Majles. (2019). Commissions. Marsad Majles. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/VSKng8.
  75. Masoud, T., Jamal, A., & Nugent, E. (2016). Using the Qur’ān to empower Arab women? Theory and experimental evidence from Egypt. Comparative Political Studies, 49(12), 1555–1598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. McDaniel, A. E. (2008). Measuring gender egalitarianism: The attitudinal difference between men and women. International Journal of Sociology, 38(1), 58–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Meddeb, H. (2015). Conscription reform will shape Tunisia’s future civil-military relations. Beirut: Carnegie Middle East Center.Google Scholar
  78. Meeks, L. (2012). Is she “man enough”? Women candidates, executive political offices, and news coverage. Journal of Communication, 62, 175–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Morton, R. B., & Williams, K. (2010). Experimental political science and the study of causality: From nature to the lab. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Murphy, E. C. (2003). Women in Tunisia: Between state feminism and economic reform. In D. E. Abdella & P. Posusney (Eds.), Women and globalization in the Arab middle east. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  81. Murray, R. (2008). Is the mere presence of a strong female candidate enough to increase the substantive representation of women? Parliamentary Affairs, 61(3), 476–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Mutz, D. C. (2011). Population-based survey experiments. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. National Democratic Institute. (2015). Final report on the 2014 legislative and presidential elections in Tunisia. Washington, DC: National Democratic Institute.Google Scholar
  84. Nyhan, B., & Zeitzoff, T. (2018). Conspiracy and misperception belief in the Middle East and North Africa. The Journal of Politics, 80(4), 1400–1404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Ono, Y., & Burden, B. (2019). The contingent effects of candidate sex on voter choice. Political Behavior, 41(3), 583–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Paxton, P., Kunovich, S., & Hughes, M. (2007). Gender in politics. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 263–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. PEW. (2015). Women and leadership: Public says women are equally qualified, but barriers persist. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  88. Provins, T. (2017). The effect of gender on member assignments to committees in state legislatures. Working Paper.Google Scholar
  89. Ridgeway, C. L., Backor, K., Li, Y. E., Tinkler, J. E., & Erickson, K. G. (2009). How easily does a social difference become a status distinction? Gender matters. American Sociological Review, 74, 44–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Rosenwasser, S., & Dean, N. (1989). Gender role and political office: Effects of perceived masculinity/femininity of candidate and political office. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 13, 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Rosenwasser, S. M., Rogers, R., Fling, S., Silvers-Pickens, K., & Butemeyer, J. (1987). Attitudes toward women and men in politics: Perceived male and female candidate competencies and participant personality characteristics. Political Psychology, 8, 191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Ross, M. (2008). Oil, Islam and women. American Political Science Review, 102(1), 107–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Sanbonmatsu, K. (2002). Gender stereotypes and vote choice. American Journal of Political Science, 46(1), 20–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Sanbonmatsu, K., & Dolan, K. (2009). Do gender stereotypes transcend party? Political Research Quarterly, 62(3), 485–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Sapiro, V. (1982). If U.S. senator baker were a woman: An experimental study of candidate images. Political Psychology, 2, 61–83.Google Scholar
  96. Shalaby, M. (2014). Women as the conduits of change across the Arab world: The cases of Egypt and Tunisia. Trajectories of change: Challenge and transformation in the wake of the Arab Spring (pp. 11–18). Houston: Baker Institute for Public Policy.Google Scholar
  97. Teele, D. L., Kalla, J., & Rosenbluth, F. (2018). The ties that double bind: Social roles and women’s underrepresentation in politics. American Political Science Review, 112(3), 525–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Tessler, M., Rogers, J., & Schneider, D. (1978a). Women’s emancipation in Tunisia: Changing policies and popular responses. In L. Beck & N. Keddie (Eds.), Women in the Muslim world. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  99. Tessler, M., Rogers, J., & Schneider, D. (1978b). Tunisian attitudes toward women and childrearing. In J. Allman (Ed.), Women’s status and fertility in the Muslim world. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  100. UN Women. (2017). From where I stand: Women have to be at the heart of the Africa of tomorrow. United Nations. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/3RjqrK.
  101. Vinkenburg, C. J., Van Engen, M. L., Eagly, A. H., & Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C. (2011). An exploration of stereotypical beliefs about leadership styles: Is transformational leadership a route to women’s promotion. The Leadership Quarterly, 22(1), 10–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. World Bank. (2018). Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%). World Development Indicators. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/6EMN41.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations