Advertisement

Women’s Political Empowerment Through Public Opinion Research: The Citizen Perspective

  • Amy C. Alexander
  • Hilde Coffé
Chapter
Part of the Gender and Politics book series (GAP)

Abstract

Engaging in politics through various activities is an important way for citizens to empower themselves politically. Using public opinion data (World Values Survey 2010–2014), Alexander and Coffé measure gender gaps in mainstream and activist modes of engagement, as well as more general attitudes towards women’s role in politics, thereby focusing on differences between birth cohorts and between countries, depending on their level of gender equality. The chapter concludes with suggestions on how public opinion research could help us to further improve our knowledge on gender differences in political empowerment by including more specific measures which take into account women’s different focus and interests compared with men.

References

  1. Abramson, P. A., & Inglehart, R. (1995). Value Change in Global Perspective. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, A. C. (2012). Change in Women’s Descriptive Representation and the Belief in Women’s Ability to Govern: A Virtuous Cycle. Politics and Gender, 8, 437–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, A. C., Bolzendahl, C., & Jalalzai, F. (2016a). Defining Women’s Global Political Empowerment: Theories and Evidence. Sociology Compass, 10, 432–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alexander, A.C., Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2016b). Emancipating Sexuality: Breakthroughs into a Bulwark of Tradition. Social Indicators Research (Open Access), 1–27. doi: 10.1007/s11205-015-1137-9
  5. Alexander, A. C., & Welzel, C. (2011). Explaining Women’s Empowerment: The Role of Emancipative Beliefs. European Sociological Review, 27(3), 364–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alexander, A. C., & Welzel, C. (2015). Eroding Patriarchy: The Co-evolution of Women’s Rights and Emancipative Values. International Review of Sociology, 25, 144–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boli, J., & Thomas, G. M. (Eds.). (1999). Constructing World Culture: International Nongovernmental Organizations Since 1875. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bolzendahl, C., & Coffé, H. (2009). Citizenship Beyond Politics: The Importance of Political, Civil and Social Rights and Responsibilities Among Women and Men. The British Journal of Sociology, 60(4), 763–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bolzendahl, C. I., & Myers, D. J. (2004). Feminist Attitudes and Support for Gender Equality: Opinion Change in Women and Men, 1974–1998. Social Forces, 83(2), 759–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bourque, S. C., & Grossholtz, J. (1998). Politics an Unnatural Practice: Political Science Looks at Female Participation. In A. Phillips (Ed.), Feminism and Politics (pp. 23–43). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Burns, N. (2007). Gender in the Aggregate, Gender in the Individual, Gender and Political Action. Politics & Gender, 3(01), 104–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burns, N., Schlozman, K. L., & Verba, S. (1997). The Public Consequences of Private Inequality: Family Life and Citizen Participation. American Political Science Review, 91, 373–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burns, N., Schlozman, K. L., & Verba, S. (2001). The Private Roots of Public Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Burrell, B. C. (2004). Women and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: Abc-Clio.Google Scholar
  15. Campbell, R., & Winters, K. (2008). Understanding Men’s and Women’s Political Interests: Evidence from a Study of Gendered Political Attitudes. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 18, 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chafetz, J. S., & Dworkin, A. G. (1986). Female Revolt: Women’s Movements in World and Historical Perspective. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Allanheld.Google Scholar
  17. Chibber, P. (2002). Why Are Some Women Politically Active? The Household, Public Space, and Political Participation in India. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 43(3–5), 409–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Coffé, H. (2013). Women Stay Local, Men go National and Global? Gender Differences in Political Interest. Sex Roles, 69(5), 323–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Coffé, H., & Bolzendahl, C. (2010). Same Game, Different Rules? Gender Differences in Political Participation. Sex Roles, 62(5-6), 318–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coffe, H., & Bolzendahl, C. (2011). Gender Gaps in Political Participation Across Sub-Saharan African Nations. Social Indicators Research, 102(2), 245–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Coffé, H., & Dilli, S. (2015). The Gender Gap in Political Participation in Muslim-Majority Countries. International Political Science Review, 36(5), 526–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Currell, B. C. (2005). Gender, Presidential Elections and Public Policy: Making Women’s Votes Matter. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 27(1), 31–50.Google Scholar
  23. Dalton, R. J. (2013). Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Thousand Oaks: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  24. Desposato, S., & Norrander, B. (2009). The Gender Gap in Latin America: Contextual and Individual Influences on Gender and Political Participation. British Journal of Political Science, 39, 141–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Engeli, I., Ballmer-Cao, T. H., & Giugni, M. (2006). Gender Gap and Turnout in the 2003 Federal Elections. Swiss Political Science Review, 12, 217–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fraile, M., & Gomez, R. (2017). Bridging the Enduring Gender Gap in Political Interest in Europe: The Relevance of Promoting Gender Equality. European Journal of Political Research, Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.12200
  27. Frazer, E., & Macdonald, K. (2003). Sex Differences in Political Knowledge in Britain. Political Studies, 51(1), 67–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gallego, A. (2007). Unequal Political Participation in Europe. International Journal of Sociology, 37(4), 10–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Giger, N. (2009). Towards a Modern Gender Gap in Europe? A Comparative Analysis of Voting Behavior in 12 Countries. The Social Science Journal, 46, 474–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gray, M. M., Kittilson, M. C., & Sandholtz, W. (2006). Women and Globalization: A Study of 180 Countries, 1975–2000. International Organization, 60(02), 293–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hayes, B. C., McAllistair, I., & Studlar, D. T. (2000). Gender, Postmaterialism, and Feminism in Comparative Perspective. International Political Science Review, 21(4), 425–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Htun, M., & Weldon, L. (2012). The Civic Origins of Progressive Policy Change: Combating Violence Against Women in Global Perspective, 1975–2005. American Political Science Review, 106, 548–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hughes, M. M., Peterson, L., Harrison, J. A., & Paxton, P. (2009). Power and Relation in the World Polity: The INGO Network Country Score, 1978–1998. Social Forces, 87, 1712–1742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2000). A Developmental Theory of the Gender Gap: Women and Men’s Voting Behavior in Global Perspective. International Political Science Review, 21, 441–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Culture Change Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2005). Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Iverson, T., & Rosenbluth, F. (2006). The Political Economy of Gender: Explaining Cross-national Variation in the Gender Division of Labor and the Gender Voting Gap. American Journal of Political Science., 50(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kabeer, N. (1999). Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections on the Measurement of Women’s Empowerment. Development and Change, 30(3), 435–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kittilson, M. C., & Schwindt-Bayer, L. (2012). The Gendered Effects of Electoral Institutions: Political Engagement and Participation. Comparative Politics Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Norris, P. (2002). Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Norris, P., Lovenduski, J., & Campbell, R. (2004). Gender and Political Participation. London: Electoral Commission.Google Scholar
  42. Parry, G., Moyser, G., & Day, N. (1992). Political Participation and Democracy in Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Paxton, P., Kunovich, S., & Hughes, M. M. (2007). Gender in Politics. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 263–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pintor, R. L., & Gratschew, M. (2002). Voter Turnout Since 1945: A Global Report. Stockholm: Int. IDEA. http://www.idea.int/publications/vt/index.cfm
  45. Ramirez, F., Soysal, Y., & Shanahan, S. (1997). The Changing Logic of Political Citizenship: Cross-national Acquisition and Women’s Suffrage Rights, 1890–1990. American Sociological Review, 62, 735–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rodríguez, V. E. (2003). Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  47. Schlesinger, M., & Heldman, C. (2001). Gender Gap or Gender Gaps? New Perspectives on Support for Government Action and Policies. The Journal of Politics, 63(1), 59–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schlozman, K. L., Burns, N., & Verba, S. (1999). “What Happened at Work Today?”: A Multistage Model of Gender, Employment, and Political Participation. The Journal of Politics, 61(1), 29–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shapiro, R., & Mahajan, H. (1986). Gender Differences in Policy Preferences: A Summary of Trends From the 1960s to the 1990s. Public Opinion Quarterly, 50(1), 42–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tarrow, S. (1994). Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action and Mass Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Uhlaner, C. J. (1989). “Relational Goods” and Participation: Incorporating Sociability Into a Theory of Rational Action. Public Choice, 62(3), 253–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Verba, S., Burns, N., & Schlozman, K. L. (1997). Knowing and Caring About Politics: Gender and Political Engagement. The Journal of Politics, 59(4), 1051–1072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Welzel, C. (2013). Freedom Rising. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Welzel, C., Inglehart, R., & Deutsch, F. (2005). Social Capital, Voluntary Associations and Collective Action: Which Aspects of Social Capital Have the Greatest ‘Civic’ Payoff? Journal of Civil Society, 1(2), 121–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy C. Alexander
    • 1
  • Hilde Coffé
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International RelationsVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations