Challenging gender norms: women’s leadership, political authority, and autonomy
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Purpose: In patriarchal settings, cultural barriers continue to influence women’s participation in positions of leadership and political authority. This paper aims to explore these findings in light of the theoretical concepts of “hegemonic masculinity” and “patriarchy,” which explain gender disparities in the occupancy of political power and leadership positions in Qatar. Design/methodology/approach: Data from original face-to-face national surveys conducted among subjects in Qatar were used, including 1,611 completed household interviews. Findings: The findings were consistent with the prevailing patriarchal beliefs present in Qatari society and Arab Gulf States. The analysis showed that there was greater significant support for men holding key leadership and authority positions than women. Individual-level factors were found to have a significant association with attitudes favoring women. Compared to respondents who had never attended school, those who had completed secondary school and those who had partaken in higher education favored having women in leadership roles. Practical implications: As a means to fix the gender imbalance within the occupancy of positions of political power in Qatar, this study recommends putting substantial efforts into increasing the number of interventions underpinning gender equality through social awareness programs that may improve the public’s perceptions. Furthermore, gender-equitable affirmative actions are needed to promote the inclusion of women in power and increase their presence in leadership roles. Originality/value: This study is among the very few that have theoretically and empirically addressed the issue of women’s authority and involvement in key leadership roles in the context of Qatar.
- Social & Economic Survey Research Institute Research [231 items ]