Gendered Patterns of Economic Marginalization and its Implications on Women's Political Participation in Latin America

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Clay, Alina Kathryn
Political Science; Politics and Social Change
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Although women in Latin America have recently made impressive advancements in political representation by achieving high-ranking political positions, embedded economic inequalities persist and significantly hinder their political participation in activities such as voting and actively supporting political parties. Furthermore, widespread policy mechanisms are not set up and effective in fully engaging women in politics. Political and economic oppression of women in this region have historical roots and thus are deeply entrenched within society. Our research question explores how gendered patterns of economic marginalization affect the political participation and attitudes of women in Latin America. To answer this question, we have analyzed cross-national data on gender inequality in incomes, based on compiled household income surveys in Latin America. We have also analyzed indicators of Between-Sex Inequality (BSI) that illustrate the extent to which income has disproportionately advantaged men over women in Latin America and how these income patterns have evolved over time between men and women. The data suggest that gender inequality across Latin America has gradually decreased over the past three decades and that overtime variation within countries is larger than cross-national variation. Additionally, we have found that gendered patterns of economic marginalization significantly diminish women’s political participation, which contributes to their political and social marginalization.