Eroding Patriarchy: The Co-evolution of Women's Rights and Emancipative Values

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Some scholars find that top-down improvements in women's rights increase societies' value of gender equality at the grassroots, creating pressure for more adoption and enforcement. Others claim that the extension of women's rights is strongly dependent on value change at the grassroots, operating largely as a bottom-up process. We find that top-down and bottom-up dynamics are mutually reinforcing, creating a co-evolutionary dynamic in women's empowerment. We evaluate the rights/values dynamic with data on as many countries as possible, trace their changes over the longest time span available, and analyze their reciprocal relationship in both directions of impact. This is the first analysis that is at the same time (1) comparative across a diverse, global set of nations; (2) dynamic in looking at change in rights and values over time; (3) bidirectional in analyzing the interplay in both directions of impact; and, (4) controlled for relevant ‘third’ changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Sociology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)144-165
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 02.01.2015

    Research areas

  • Politics - development, diffuse effects, emancipative, values, social movements, symbolic effects, value change, women's rights
  • Gender and Diversity
  • development, diffuse effects, emancipative values, social movements, symbolic effects, value change, women's rights