I appreciate your coverage of global social issues, particularly women’s rights. I thought you would be interested in this study by one of our professors who analyzed the effects of educational gains for women in the Middle East and North Africa. Our professor, Gail Buttorff, found that despite an improving level of educational attainment, these gains haven’t translated into returns on political and economic capital, or “wasta,” that would allow women in these countries to hold office or successfully navigate bureaucracy.
“If women have differential access, and voters perceive this to be true, how does this affect the ability of female candidates to be elected? And what does gendered nature of wasta mean for improving women’s political representation?” Buttorff said. “Given the pervasiveness of wasta in Arab life, does differential access to wasta represent another hurdle to improving the status of women, especially translating educational gains into economic opportunities and political representation?”
If you would like more information about her study or would like to speak with Buttorff, let us know.
Public Affairs Officer
KU News Service