The gender gap in policy orientation: How relevant is locality?

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    The notion that policy orientation is gendered has important implications for both policy research and practical policymaking. If men and women differ in their policy orientation, policy action will equally differ depending on which group controls the levers of community politics/policy agenda. However, a substantial question still looms: are gender cleavages in policy orientation inevitable, or, do things change markedly according to locality? This research uses national probability sample data from Afghanistan to examine the extent to which locality shapes gender cleavages in policy orientation. The results posit that locality matters in two significant ways. First, it crystallises women's group interests. Secondly, it promotes policy 'convergence', to the extent that men and women living and operating in the same social space will tend to react to policy similarly. However, such a broad outlook does not preclude gender polarisation on policy matters. Women will align with their group interest even when that interest is at odds with their community's trajectory.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Policy
    Issue number1-2
    StatePublished - 2017


    • Afghanistan
    • Afghanistan policy
    • Afghanistan policy environment
    • Afghanistan women
    • Gender cleavages
    • Gender differentiation
    • Gender gap
    • Gender in Afghanistan
    • Gender in Islamic states
    • Muslim women
    • Policy orientation
    • Policymaking
    • Public policy
    • Women's rights in Afghanistan

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Public Administration
    • Political Science and International Relations


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