When armed politics empower women : Gender ideologies in armed groups and women’s political empowerment: Evidence from Colombia
Abstract: This study aims to account for variation on women’s political empowerment in localities during wartime. I draw upon political ideologies and civilian-armed group interaction literature to argue that gender ideologies could explain why some conflict-affected areas have more women’s political empowerment than others. I argue that gender egalitarian ideologies in armed groups leads to specific organizational structure and political discourse where women are allowed to take leadership and political-related roles within the armed groups. More specifically, I argue that gender egalitarian armed groups not only encourage women to take public roles within their group but also to engage in politics in communities under their territorial control through four strategies: ideological meetings, penetration of social and political organization, establishment of social behaviors and infiltration in electoral politics. I test this argument using quantitative sub-national data looking at territorial control of non-state armed groups and number female mayor candidates in Colombia from 1997 to 2007. I expect that guerrilla areas, are more likely to have more female candidates compared with paramilitary areas. Surprisingly, I found an opposite direction, where paramilitary areas have more female candidates compared with guerrilla areas. I offer an alternative explanation based on the qualitative sources in order to account for the unexpected findings.
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