Research shows that having more women in elected office fundamentally changes the way that society perceives women — and the way that young women think about themselves. When more women run for and win elected office, adolescent girls are more likely to indicate an interest in running for office. And according to one major, peer-reviewed study conducted in India, more women in government office leads to parents perceiving their daughters differently, assigning them less housework, and investing more in their educations.
“What our evidence shows is that a lot of gender inequality is associated with choices that suggest different preferences. The holy grail is understanding whether those preferences are social norms, or something more intrinsic.”