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Type Report
Title Gender difference in support for democracy in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of social institutions
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Little empirical investigation has been put forward to explain why women are less likely to support democracy than men in Sub-Saharan Africa. This gender difference in politics has been found in numerous studies and may hinder the much needed democratic legitimacy in this region. This paper addresses the question of whether this observed gap is due to the omission of social institutions related to gender inequality that affect women daily life and deprive them of autonomy at home.
We hypothesize that women who live under autocracy at home are less likely to support democracy outside because it does not affect their private life, following the idea that how women are treated in a society might have major implications for
the economic, social, and political functioning of the society. We find that the gender difference in support for democracy is no longer significant after we control for the gender discrimination in the Family Code, in Physical Integrity and in
Civil Liberties. Results are robust to the use of different Afrobarometer surveys and to the inclusion of time and country fixed-effects. This study has also provided evidence that women living in countries with favorable laws toward women (e.g, marriage, domestic violences, freedom of movement and access to public spaces) are more supportive of democracy than the other women. Hence we suggest that democratic regimes are may be more willing to protect woman’s friendly laws
than authoritarian regime.

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