This Master’s thesis seeks to shed light on the general connection between good governance and gender equality. The first two chapters attempt to provide one possibility for understanding women’s rights conditions in Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa through the theory of governance. The first two chapters address the following hypothesis: governments, with ‘good’ governance, are more likely to protect women’s rights than governments, with ‘poor’ governance. To study this hypothesis, the first paper addresses the research question, to what extent is poor governance linked to gender inequality in Saudi Arabia? Similarly, the second paper addresses the question: to what extent is poor governance linked to gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa? By reporting findings of Worldwide Governance Indicators and Global Gender Gap Index, the results revealed that generally Saudi Arabian poor governance was associated with having gender inequalities in the country. As for Sub-Saharan African region, the results showed that there was a positive, albeit weak, correlation between good governance and gender equality. These two papers with their investigation of linkage between gender discrimination and quality of MENA and African governments may contribute to the literature on MENA and African women, and assist policy-makers in making well-informed decisions with the aim of promoting women’s rights through advancing good governance and democracy in these regions. The third chapter examines the effect of question wording on perceptions of women in political and public sphere. This research argues that intuitive-phrased questions on gender roles will have a different distribution of response options than counterintuitive-phrased questions. Using a survey experiment, the results showed that there is a clear difference in the distribution of responses between intuitive and counterintuitive-phrased questions. Respondents asked counterintuitive-phrased questions were more likely to either agree or be neutral on statements supporting women over men while those who received intuitive-phrased questions were more likely to express their disagreement on statements supporting men over women. Gender and political ideologies differences were found in the data. The results of this study have both policy and theoretical implications on women’s underrepresentation in US politics.
This proposal assesses the situation of gender and governance in Kenya, South Africa, and, Zimbabwe and suggests the policy recommendations that are needed to enhance participation in future. The problem statement of the research is that while there is a rise in the political commitment regarding this matter, and also an increase in the number of constitutional and legal reforms aiming at attaining gender equality, significant gender gaps still exist in all domains of life across the globe and especially. The major objective of the research is to determine the factors that influence gender equality in leadership and how equal representation promotes development in Africa. Some of the research questions to be answered include whether political and economic factors have an influence on gender equality in leadership, and how the cultural factors influence marginalized group participation in political leadership. Moreover, the study seeks to identify the extent with which political factors in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa influence the participation of marginalized group in political leadership. The basic assumptions of the study are that gender equality is good for governance, equal representation promotes development, gender affects good governance and without gender equality, governance cannot function effectively. The data collection procedures include the use of secondary data from journals, books, and other articles using various databases such as PubMed, Library among others. Primary sources were also utilized in the study. According to the findings, there existed differences between gender and political ideologies. This outcome has both policy and theoretical implication on the underrepresentation of women in governance.