Violence Against Women, Gender Representation, and Gender Empowerment Ferdaouis Bagga firstname.lastname@example.org American University School of International Service
Research Question Basic premise: women help other women Original RQ: • Will there be less violence against women in a state which has more female representation in its parliament/lower house? Adjusted RQ: • Will there be more substantive legislative action on violence against women when the state has higher female empowerment?
Hypotheses • Ha= Countries with higher levels of female empowerment will feature more legislation on violence against women. • Ho= There is no relationship between level of female empowerment and legislation on violence against women.
Background Sources • Violence Against Women: An International Perspective, by Johnson, H., Ollus, N, and Nevala, S. • The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) • IVAWS – commenced 2003, by 2005 11 countries • Escobar-Lemmon, M. & Taylor-Robinson, M. M. (2005). “Women Ministers in Latin American Government: When, Where, and Why?” • Iyer, L., Mani, A., Mishra, P., & Topalova, P. (2011). “The Power of Political Voice: Women’s Political Representation and Crime in India” • Tremblay, M. (1998). “Do Female MPs Substantively Represent Women? A Study of Legislative Behaviour in Canada’s 35th Parliament” • Yoon, M. Y. (2004). “Explaining Women’s Legislative Representation in Sub-Saharan Africa”
Description of Variables Dependent • Unit of Analysis = Country • LOM = Interval-Ratio • Gender empowerment measure: • “gem2005” • From Human Development Report of 2007/2008 • Assigns countries a value indicating how empowered women are based on political, economic, and societal factors
Description of Variables • Legislation on violence against women: • “LegislationVAW” • From OECD 2009 • 0=yes, 1=no • Percentage of women in parliament: • “Women2008” • From Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) • Gender-related development index: • “GDIValue2005” • From UNDP • Assesses life expectancy, adult literacy rate, gross enrolment ratios, estimated income • Independent
Linear Regression Analysis • Using dependent variable gender empowerment measure (gem2005)
Conclusions & Policy Suggestions • There is a statistically significant relationship between the gender empowerment variable and legislation on violence against women in all three models. • Sample size is a problem, with less than half the world’s countries represented by this data. • The coefficient for legislation on violence against women appears negative, but this is because the range of values is between 0 and 1, with 0 being the ideal “yes, there is legislation on violence against women.” Thus, when gender empowerment rises, the value of “LegislationVAW” decreases, getting closer to a solid yes, and countries more frequently have legislation on violence against women. • Model three is the strongest with an R2 of 0.7244, meaning that when percentage of women in parliament and level of gender development are also taken into account, there is a strong positive relationship. • When more women are empowered, especially politically, there will be more substantive legislative action to combat violence against women.