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Gender Role Attitudes: Who Supports Expanded Rights for Women in Afghanistan?

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Abstract

We use survey data from a national probability sample of 6,593 adult Afghans and multivariate regression that estimates the effects of several factors on separate indices of gender role attitudes generated by exploratory factor analysis to explore whether men and women differ in their gender role attitudes and the extent to which ecological and socio-demographic factors may mediate both within- and across-group differences. We find that men and women differ in their gender role attitudes, as men report more conservative attitudes than women. These differences manifest whether gender role attitude is measured as procuring basic rights for women, or empowering women politically. Moreover, men and women’s gender role attitudes are not immutable—education, ethnicity, and urbanization and, in women’s case, generational replacement—all act to mediate these differences. The profile of the Afghan man who would hold liberal gender role attitudes is an educated urbanite, non-Sunni or non-Pashtun, who believes in the compatibility of democracy and Islam, trusts outsiders, has exposure to the formal media, and would extend equal rights to all irrespective of gender, religion, or ethnicity. That of the woman is of a younger, educated urbanite, non-Pashtun, who believes in the compatibility of democracy and Islam, trusts outsiders, has exposure to the formal media, and would extend equal rights to all regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity.

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Acknowledgements

A previous version of this paper was presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, Houston, TX March 31–April 3, 2010. We wish to thank the Asia Foundation for making available the data set used in this analysis. The analysis and interpretations of the findings are solely the authors’.

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Correspondence to Lynne L. Manganaro.

Appendix

Appendix

Questionnaire items as written in Dari and Pashto with English translations

Q74: Do you think women should be allowed to vote in elections?

Dari:

(ازهمه بپرسيد) آیا فکرمیکنید که زنان باید درانتخابات، اجازه رای دهی راداشته باشند؟

Pashto:

آيا تاسو فکر کوﺉ، چې ښځې به پرېښودل شي، چې په ټولټاکنو کې رايه ورکړي؟

Q99: Some people say that women should have equal opportunities like men in education. Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Dari:

بعضی مردم میگویند که زنان باید مانند مردان فرصت های همسان برای فراگیری تحصیل داشته باشند، آیا با این بیانیه موافق هستید ویا مخالف؟ (منتظر جواب باشید وبعداَ بپرسید) بسیار یا کمی؟

Pashto:

ځينې خلک وايي چې ښځې بايد د نارينه وو په شان د زده کړې يوشان حقونه ولري، آيا تاسو د دې وينا سره موافق ياست که مخالف؟ ځواب ته صبر وکړي او بيا وپوښتي: قوياً يا څه ناڅه؟

Q100: Some people say women should be allowed to work outside the home. What is your opinion about this?

Dari:

بعضی مردم میگویند که باید برای زنها اجازه کار کردن بیرون از خانه داده شود، نظر تان در این ارتباط چیست؟

Pashto:

ځينې خلک وايي چې بايد ښځو ته دا اجازه ورکړل شى ترڅو د کور څخه بهر کار وکړى، ستاسو نظر د دې وينا په هکله څه دي؟

Q101: If women do vote, do you think that women should decide for themselves or should they receive advice from men?

Dari:

در صورتیکه زنان راي بدهند، آیا فكر میكنید كه زنان خودشان تصمیم بگیرند که به چه كسی رای بدهند و یا اینکه در مورد از مردها مشوره بگیرند؟

Pashto:

-که ښځې رايه ورکړي، ستاسو په فکر دوي د ځان لپاره تصميم ونيسى او که د نارينه وو لخوا ورته وويل شي تر څو رايه ورکړى؟

Q102: In the election, everyone must vote for themselves. Men cannot vote in place of women. Women must vote for themselves. What do you think about this statement? Do you agree or disagree?

Dari:

هركس باید در انتخابات از طرف خود رای بدهد، مردها به عوض زن ها رای داده نمیتواند، زن ها باید خودشان رای بدهند، دراین مورد چه فكر میكنید، به ان موافقت دارید یا مخالفت؟ (منتظر جواب باشید وبعداَ بپرسید) بسیار ویا کمی؟

Pashto:

هر څوک بايد په ټاکنو کې په خپله خوښه رايه ورکړى. يعنى نارينه نه شى کولاي چې د ښځو په ځاى رأيه ورکړى. ښځى بايد خپله شخصاً رايه ورکړى. تاسو د دغی وينا په هکله څه نظر لري؟ آيا ورسره موافق ياست که مخالف؟ ځواب ته صبر وکړي، او بيا وپوښتي: قوياً يا څه ناڅه؟

Q104: Do you think that political leadership positions should be mostly for men, mostly for women, or do you think that both men and women should have equal representation?

Dari:

آيا فكر ميكنيد كه موقف هاي رهبري سياسي اكثراَ بايد براي مردها باشد،يا اكثراَ براي زنها باشد و يا اينكه فكر ميكنيد كه هردو مردها و زنها مساويانه دررهبري سياسي، نمايندگي داشته باشند؟

Pashto:

آیا تاسو له دې ویناوو سره موافق یاست که مخالف؟ "نارینه او ښځې ټول باید د زده کړې، کار، او د تصمیم نیولو—یوبرابر حقونه، ولری." (ولټوی: ډیر که لږ؟)

Q105a: Are you opposed to a woman representing you in the following organizations: In National Parliament?

Dari:

آيا با داشتن يك نماينده زن در سازمانهاي ذيل مخالفت ميكنيد؟

- در پارلمان مليa

Pashto:

آيا تاسو د دغې خبرې سره مخالفت لری، چې په لاندينيو بنسټونو کې دې ستاسې استازيتوب د ښځې له خوا وشي؟

- په ملی شورا کېa

Q105b: Are you opposed to a woman representing you in the following organizations: In your Provincial Council?

Dari:

آيا با داشتن يك نماينده زن در سازمانهاي ذيل مخالفت ميكنيد؟

- در شوراي ولايتي تانb

Pashto:

آيا تاسو د دغې خبرې سره مخالفت لری، چې په لاندينيو بنسټونو کې دې ستاسې استازيتوب د ښځې له خوا وشي؟

- ستاسو په ولایتې شورا کېb

Q105c: Are you opposed to a woman representing you in the following organizations: In your Community Development Councils?

Dari:

آيا با داشتن يك نماينده زن در سازمانهاي ذيل مخالفت ميكنيد؟

- در شوراي انكشافي قريه تانc

Pashto:

آيا تاسو د دغې خبرې سره مخالفت لری، چې په لاندينيو بنسټونو کې دې ستاسې استازيتوب د ښځې له خوا وشي؟

- ستاسو د ټولنيز پرمختګ په شورا کې c

Q105d: Are you opposed to a woman representing you in the following organizations: In your District Development Assembly?

Dari:

آيا با داشتن يك نماينده زن در سازمانهاي ذيل مخالفت ميكنيد؟

- درگرد همائي انكشاف ولسوالي تانd

Pashto:

آيا تاسو د دغې خبرې سره مخالفت لری، چې په لاندينيو بنسټونو کې دې ستاسې استازيتوب د ښځې له خوا وشي؟

ستاسو د ولسوالی د پرمختګ په شورا کې

Q105e: Are you opposed to a woman representing you in the following organizations: In your local Shura or Jirga?

Dari:

آيا با داشتن يك نماينده زن در سازمانهاي ذيل مخالفت ميكنيد؟

- در شورا ويا جرگه محلي تانe

Pashto:

آيا تاسو د دغې خبرې سره مخالفت لری، چې په لاندينيو بنسټونو کې دې ستاسې استازيتوب د ښځې له خوا وشي؟

- ستاسو د سيمې په شورا او جرګه کېe

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Manganaro, L.L., Alozie, N.O. Gender Role Attitudes: Who Supports Expanded Rights for Women in Afghanistan?. Sex Roles 64, 516–529 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-011-9931-6

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Keywords

  • Gender role attitudes
  • Afghanistan
  • Gender role orientation
  • Islamic women