Women and Contentious Politics: A Global Event-Data Approach to Understanding Women’s Protest


Under what circumstances are women more likely to protest? Despite significant cross-national research on contentious politics in general and women’s collective mobilization in particular, no study to date has offered a systematic global analysis of mass mobilization among women. Using newly gathered data on women’s nonviolent protest for the years from 1991 to 2009, this article offers a cross-national analysis of the socioeconomic and political correlates of women’s protest. Drawing insight from the major theoretical approaches on contentious politics, the results from the data analysis indicate that higher levels of gendered economic and political discrimination, strong presence of women’s organizations, and higher female population rates in the general population significantly increase the likelihood of women’s protest events. The findings also indicate that collective mobilization among women is more likely in wealthier countries. Furthermore, mass mobilization among women appears to be more common in mixed political regimes rather than in consolidated democracies or autocratic polities. This manuscript complements and adds to the contentious politics literature by focusing on the factors that mobilize a specific segment of the society: women. The findings also speak to the gender and politics literature that lacks comprehensive cross-national studies exploring the determinants of women’s mobilization.

Publication Title

Political Research Quarterly