Information, Female Empowerment and Governance in Oaxaca, Mexico

Citation:

Díaz-Cayeros, Alberto, Beatriz Magaloni, and Alex Ruiz Euler. 2010. “Information, Female Empowerment and Governance in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Working Paper, Yale University, New Haven.

Authors: Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Beatriz Magaloni, Alex Ruiz Euler

Abstract:

Development requires the empowerment of women. In this paper we present a survey experiment that measures the effect of information on attitudes about women in local government in Mexico. Taking advantage of a multicultural institutional arrangement in the state of Oaxaca, which allows indigenous communities to use traditional non-partisan methods for the election of mayors, we explore the perceptions about female participation and access to offce. Against the multicultural critique, we find no conclusive differences indicating discrimination of women. We explore the effect that information about female mayors who already govern some municipalities in the state has on respondent perceptions about women in government. We find that contextual information increases the likelihood of accepting women in government. We also find a stronger effect when respondents have been recipients of the conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades. We interpret participation in Oportunidades as a variable that relates to the fast changing role of women in indigenous communities, although the effect in municipalities governed by traditional rules is half of that observed in municipalities governed by political parties. Compared to men, women who receive the conditional transfer program more than double their likelihood of accepting female mayors, when provided with truthful information of how many women already govern in their state.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2010

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