A global poll, conducted by WIN/Gallup International, the leading association in market research and polling, has revealed that over a third of respondents believe the world would be a better place if politicians were predominantly women.
• 34% of respondents stated that the world would, in general, be a better place if politicians were predominantly women;
• 17% believe that the world would be worse off;
• 41% of respondents felt that there would be no difference;
• MENA (34%) was the region with the highest response rate for believing the world would be a worse place if politicians were predominantly female.
• Colombian participants had the highest response rate (62%) in the category saying more female politicians would have a positive impact on the world.
Against the backdrop of International Women’s Day taking place on Saturday 8th March 2014, the findings from WIN/Gallup International’s annual survey show that whilst the greatest proportion (41%) of respondents polled felt the world would be no different if politicians were predominately female, a third (34%) stated that it would in fact be a better place – a significantly higher proportion than those who believed it would be worse (17%). On a regional basis the Americas recorded the highest net score (difference between better and worse) of those who felt more female politicians would have a positive impact on the world at 33%, compared with Western Europe at 24%, Eastern Europe at 15%, Asia at 14% and Africa at 11%. MENA, however, was the only region to indicate the world would be worse off with more female politicians, recording a negative net score of -2%.
Overall, whilst age and income had little impact on responses, a gender bias was evident. Women, with a net score of 25%, believed the world would be a better place with more female representation in politics compared to a net score of only 10% for men. Religion also had an impact on global responses, with support for having more women in politics much higher amongst Jewish, Hindu and Catholic religions (net scores of 54%, 27% and 26% respectively). Muslim respondents were the only religious group not in favour of an increased number of female politicians, recording a net score of -3%.
Whilst 34% of the total global respondents believed that a higher proportion of women in politics would positively impact on how the world is governed, there were particular hotspots where this figure was significantly higher. Colombia recorded the highest proportion in support of female politicians at 62% – well above the Americas average of 41%. Other countries that showed a particularly high response in favour of female politicians included Fiji (53%), Bosnia (52%) and Sweden (48%). Afghanistan was the most evenly split country between better and worse with only 1% difference between the two, at 36% and 35% respectively.
Although ‘no difference’ was the most popular answer (41%) in many countries ‘better’ or ‘worse’ still took a significant proportion. For example, 42% of US respondents believed there would be no difference if politicians were predominantly female, whilst an almost equal 41% felt more female politicians would in fact improve the world, a net difference of only 1%. This is a trend followed in many countries around the globe, including Brazil with 41% (45% for no difference), India with 38% (42% for no difference) and Portugal with 41% (46% for no difference). The Asia region was firmly in line with the global trend, with 40% believing the world would be the same, including in Hong Kong (74%), Korea (60%) and the Philippines (65%), compared with 16%, 20% and 24% respectively suggesting the world would be a better place. Japan was the only country included in the survey where the largest proportion of respondents (40%) chose not to answer or did not know whether there would be an improvement with more female politicians.
Overall, 17% of global respondents believed more female politicians would result in the world being a worse place. MENA (34%) was the only region to record this as the highest answer. Tunisia (59%), Algeria (49%) and Kenya (44%) were the countries with the highest response rate for the world being a worse place. Other countries to respond that the world would be worse included Azerbaijan (41%), Bangladesh (41%) and Pakistan (33%).
Jean-Marc Leger, President of WIN/Gallup International, said:
“Over a third of respondents globally answered that the world would be a better place if politicians were predominantly women, which strongly indicates that the world is ready for change. The Americas and Western Europe responded overwhelmingly in favour of more female politicians, which may be testament to the increasing role women are already playing in the political spectrum in these regions. It will be fascinating to see whether the results of the survey are reflected in political changes across the globe.”