Are Malawian Adults Turning Pink? Exploring Public Opinion on Women's Political Leadership

This briefing paper explores the opinions of Malawian adults on women’s political leadership ability. Literature shows that voters tend to correlate specific personality traits with each gender, and during elections they may employ these stereotypes when determining who to support for political office. However using data from the Afrobarometer Round 5 survey from Malawi, the findings reveal a departure from this pattern. This briefing paper demonstrates that Malawian adults interviewed in this survey do not appear to be deterred from voting for women by gender stereotypes. This may explain why there is a significant increase in the number of women winning elections to become Members of Parliament in Malawi.