All posts, Articles, Research, Sociology

How more female political representation can make countries healthier

Research by Professor Ross Macmillan (Department of Sociology, University of Limerick) and Amy Johnson shows that countries are healthier when they have more female politicians.

Their research shows that maternal and child mortality rapidly plummet when legislative representation by women reaches 30% and more.

“We would expect increases in female political representation to change societies in important ways, and they do. 

The results were striking. For child mortality rates are very high when the percentage of female legislators is low. 

The real story occurs when female political representation exceeds 30%. Here child mortality is cut in half and is no different than rates seen in high-income countries.  

The same story holds for maternal mortality. Again, death rates are high when the percentage of female legislators is low, decreases a little with moderate representation, yet plummets at the 30% threshold. 

Mortality is actually lower in extremely poor countries with high levels of female political representation than it is in wealthy countries at any level of representation.”

Read in full at RTÉ Brainstorm.

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