Women’s Action Committees and Local Services in Nigeria
Principal Investigators: Claire Adida, Leonardo Arriola, Katrina Kosec, Aila Matanock, Cecilia Mo
The dynamics undermining Nigeria’s democratic progress over the past two decades have disproportionately marginalized the role of women in governance. While women are legally entitled to equal rights under Nigeria’s constitution, they have been largely excluded from political participation through a combination of social, logistical, and psychological barriers. If barriers to women’s political participation stem, in part, from a lack of group identity and collective efficacy, can these factors be changed through intensive capacity strengthening programs in women’s groups? Will women who participate in these groups increase their engagement in politics and governance processes where they are currently underrepresented? Can having male champions in the home additionally help women overcome both psychological and logistical barriers to political participation, thereby leading to women having increased political voice? In collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria, NOI Polls, and Lofty Inc, we will conduct a field experiment in southwestern Nigeria in order to generate evidence around these questions.
Intervention Date: April – September 2023
Our field experiment consists of three experimental arms. Women assigned to be part of the placebo group will receive a one-day training that provides information about political participation. Women assigned to either of the two treatment groups will receive the same one-day training in political participation along with four additional days of training. For women in both treatment 1 (T1) and treatment 2 (T2), the training will be identical and will involve group interactions focusing on: (1) making common grievances over gender inequality salient; (2) increasing a sense of women’s group identity; and (3) increasing perceived political efficacy. Additionally, in treatment 2, a man in the trained woman’s household (preferably her husband) will also receive training. The men’s training will focus on turning men into champions for women’s political participation by showcasing how increasing women’s voice and agency is socially acceptable (e.g., that other men support this too) and can benefit men’s own households and communities, as well as how to effectively support women’s political voice.
H1: Relative to women in the placebo group, women in T1 or T2 will increase their gender-based identification, their sense of injustice based upon gender, and perceptions of collective efficacy at the individual level.
H2: Relative to women in the placebo group, women in T1 or T2 will have greater political knowledge, higher political interest, more positive attitudes towards women’s political participation, and higher levels/quality of political participation. Additionally, government decision-makers will be more likely to respond to women in T1 and T2 than women in the placebo group.
H3: Relative to T1, T2 will have a stronger positive effect on women’s political participation: women’s political participation will increase at a higher rate when a male member of a woman’s household is recruited as an ally.
H4: Compared to men who were not trained, trained men will have higher levels of: support for women’s increased political voice, knowledge on how to support women’s political voice, belief that supporting women’s political participation is socially normative, and recognition that they have an important role to play in supporting women’s participation.