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Title: The gender gap in policy orientation: how relevant is locality?

Authors: Nicholas O. Alozie

Addresses: Faculty of Social Science, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Arizona State University, 7271 E. Sonoran Arroyo Mall – MC 2780, Mesa, Arizona 85212-6415, USA

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: gender gap; public policy; policy orientation; policymaking; gender differentiation; gender cleavages; Afghanistan women; Afghanistan policy; Islamic states; Muslim women; women's rights; Afghanistan females; locality; gender polarisation; group interest.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2017.081053

International Journal of Public Policy, 2017 Vol.13 No.1/2, pp.1 - 20

Available online: 05 Dec 2016 *

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