Put another way, how important is it for growth and development that politicians be women? After all, what's essential for citizens is how their government treats them, how their rights are or are not respected, and whether they do, or do not, have peaceful economic opportunities. Political participation is obviously important, but is participation enough to generate policy change that leads to positive economic change?
I think a more interesting question might be something like this: "Do we have any evidence that female politicans are more likely to create economic opportunity for citizens than male politicians? Are they more effective at developing and implementing policies that promote economic empowerment than men?" Today, Rwanda has the highest percentage of women parlimentarians of any country in the world. Is this translating into a different kind of policy making, as compared with other countries where women hold fewer political offices?I'm not aware of research that directly addresses these questions, but it may well be out there. And wouldn't it be interesting if women politicians turn out to be more supportive of the kinds of economic reforms that expand opportunity for many, as opposed to enriching a few?
Rwandan members of Parliament take oath of office.