The LGPI Malawi survey was funded by the Swedish Research Council Grant Number 439201438 (award granted to Pam Fredman, Rector of the University of Gothenburg) and the Research Council of Norway Grant Number 233803.
Comparative Political Studies
Chiefdoms -- Malawi, Sex role -- Malawi, Child marriage, Malawi -- Politics and government -- Effect of gender on
Traditional leadership often coexists with modern political institutions, yet we know little about how traditional and state authority cues—or those from male or female sources—affect public opinion. Using an original survey experiment of 1,381 Malawians embedded in the 2016 Local Governance Performance Index (LGPI), we randomly assign respondents into one of four treatment groups or a control group to hear messages about a child marriage reform from a female or male traditional authority (TA) or parliamentarian. In the sample as a whole, the female TA is as effective as the control (i.e., no endorsement), while other messengers elicit lower support (i.e., backfire effects). Endorsements produce heterogeneous effects across respondent sex and patrilineal/matrilineal customs, suggesting the need for tailored programs. Our analysis adds an intersectional approach to the governance literature, suggesting a theoretical framework that enables us to explain the impact of state and traditional endorsements across policy domains.
Published as: Muriaas, R. L., Wang, V., Benstead, L., Dulani, B., & Rakner, L. (2019). Why the Gender of Traditional Authorities Matters: Intersectionality and Women’s Rights Advocacy in Malawi. Comparative Political Studies, 52(12), 1881–1924. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414018774369