Can Media Interventions Reduce Gender Gaps in Political Participation after Civil War? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Liberia


Mvukiyehe, Eric. 2017. "Can Media Interventions Reduce Gender Gaps in Political Participation after Civil War? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Liberia." Policy Research Working Papers, World Bank Group, Washington, D.C.

Author: Eric Mvukiyehe


Five weeks prior to the 2011 general election in Liberia, women in randomly selected villages were allocated radios and organized into groups to listen regularly to radio programs on the electoral process broadcast by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The field experiment was designed to ascertain the direct effects of women’s access to politically-relevant information through radio broadcasting on their political behaviors and attitudes in a post-war context. Results point to positive significant effects of access to United Nations Mission in Liberia Radio on female political participation both at a national and a local level. Communities that received the intervention also exhibited smaller gender gaps across the majority of outcome indicators. The results suggest that UNMIL Radio effects likely occurred through increased political efficacy of women voters in the lead up to the elections. The study concludes that women’s exposure to politically-relevant information through mass-broadcasting, even if brief, can boost their political efficacy and participation in public life.

Keywords: peacebuilding, mass-media, women's political participation, UNMIL, Liberia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Media, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

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