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Political Science in Europe

A Multilevel Study of Gender Egalitarian Values across Muslim Majority Provinces: The Role of Women and Urban Spaces

Political Cultures
Amy Alexander
University of Gothenburg
Amy Alexander
University of Gothenburg

In global value research, Muslim majority countries emerge not only as consistently more patriarchal but also as a rather homogeneous cultural cluster to that effect. We, however, know little about the variation within Muslim majority countries in these values through comparative analysis of subnational units. This limits the possibility of identifying “localized pockets of transformation” in support for gender equality in what the global research depicts as a relatively stagnate region. This manuscript is a first attempt at explaining the subnational variation in gender egalitarian values across Muslim majority countries and its effect on key individual-level variables like gender. We model province and individual-level variance across 64 provinces in Egypt, Iran and Turkey with multilevel analysis (Hierarchical Linear Modeling HLM 7.0). Results show that whether provinces are more urban positively influences gender egalitarian values. At the individual level, we find that whether provinces are more urban has the most powerful impact on unmarried women in increasing support for gender equality. Based on the results, we conclude that research must pay greater attention to the local contexts in which Muslim women are embedded, like their provinces, in terms of the opportunities they create outside of the “marriage market” and the implications for their support of gender equality.
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