Respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with a series of statements about their perceived influence of voting and decision-making on the government, women’s autonomy in political decision-making, and perception of women as political and business leaders compared to men.
Women and men both have mixed assessments of whether, “People like me can have an influence on decisions made by the government,” but more respondents disagree that they can influence government decisions. Thirty percent of women and 41% of men strongly/somewhat agree with this statement, half of women and men (50%) strongly/somewhat disagree that they can influence decisions made by the government, and 19% of women and 10% of men say they don’t know (Figure 5).
When framed in a way that asks specifically about whether they think voting gives them chances to influence decision-making in their country, respondents are a bit more optimistic but opinions on the power of their vote are still mixed. Forty percent of women and 52% of men strongly/somewhat agree that voting gives them a chance to influence decision-making in the country, while 40% of women and 39% of men strongly/somewhat disagree, and 20% of women and 9% of men say they don’t know (Figure 6). Figure 5 and 6 show there is only a small difference in opinion between genders, however women are more likely than men to say they don’t know.
When asked generally about women’s ability to freely make their own decisions when voting, a majority of women and men, with more women than men, strongly or somewhat agree with the statement “Women are able to make their own decision on whom to vote for in elections” (75% and 57%, respectively). Nevertheless, more women strongly agree with this statement (56%) than men (33%), highlighting the gender split on the intensity of opinion regarding women’s freedom of electoral decision-making (Figure 7).
On the other hand, when asked more specifically if a woman can vote for a candidate who’s different from the one her husband voted for, less men and women agree with this statement than the previous statement, but still over half of men agree "A woman can vote for a candidate who's different from the one her husband voted for." While 52% of men and 63% of women strongly/somewhat agree with this statement, nearly half of men (47%) disagree that a woman can vote for a different candidate than her husband, and even 29% of women disagree. This points to a troublesome view of voting held by almost half of men and a third of women that does not see women’s voting as an individual decision, but instead a decision dependent on her husband (Figure 8).
Unmarried women are slightly more likely to agree (68%) that a woman can vote for a different candidate than her husband than married women (60%). By education levels, as a woman’s education increases higher percentages of women strongly/somewhat agree a woman can vote for her own candidate (Figure 9).