Peace Above the Glass Ceiling: The Historical Relationship Between Female Political Empowerment and Civil Conflict
46 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 2018
This paper investigates whether female political empowerment is conducive to civil peace, drawing on global data on female political empowerment over a 200 year period, from the Varieties of Democracy database. We augment previous research by expanding the temporal scope, looking at a novel inventory of female empowerment measures, attending to reverse-causality and omitted variable issues, and separating between relevant causal mechanisms. We find a strong link between female political empowerment and civil peace, which is particularly pronounced in the 20th century. When studying mechanisms, we find that this relationship is driven both by women's political participation and the culture that conduces it. To draw causal inferences, we estimate instrumental variable models and perform causal sensitivity tests. This is the strongest evidence to date that there is a robust link between female political empowerment and civil peace, stemming from both institutional and cultural mechanisms.
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