The Gender Gap in African Political Participation: Testing Theories of Individual and Contextual Determinants

Andreas Kotsadam, Ann-Sofie Isaksson and Måns Nerman

Journal of Development Studies

Photo: Routledge

Published in:

Journal of Development Studies 2014 50 (2) pp. 302 - 318.



This article aims to test whether existing theories of what factors underlie the gender gap in political participation apply in an African context. Empirical estimations drawing on recent data covering over 27,000 respondents across 20 African emerging democracies suggest that whereas several of the investigated factors – structural differences in individual resource endowments and employment, and cultural differences based in religious affiliations – are found to be important determinants of participation, they explain only a very modest share of the observed gender gaps. Suggestive evidence instead points to the role of clientelism, restricted civil liberties, economic development and gender norms.



Published June 29, 2015 11:42 AM