Increasing Women's Support for Democracy in Africa

Democracy is generally seen as a force for good, but women in sub-Saharan Africa are less likely to support democracy than men. Research shows how discriminatory social institutions — including biases in family law and civil liberties and gaps in protections against physical violence— are contributing to this gap. This work has shown that a number of factors influence attitudes toward democracy, including age, education, access to media, and exposure to corruption. Our research shows that women express lower support for democracy than men in sub Saharan Africa. Gender inequality in the family code, physical integrity, and civil liberties negatively affect women’s support for democracy. There are factors that increase the probability that women will support democracy, including higher education and age, and equal access to rights in the eyes of the law and in society at large, among others.