June 2022

IZA DP No. 15365: Female Political Representation and Violence against Women: Evidence from Brazil

Magdalena Delaporte, Francisco J. Pino

This paper studies the effect of female political representation on violence against women. Using a Regression Discontinuity design for close mayoral elections between female and male candidates in Brazil, we find that electing female mayors leads to a reduction in episodes of gender violence. The effect is particularly strong when focusing on incidents of domestic violence, when the aggressor is the ex-husband/boyfriend, and when victims experienced sexual violence. The evidence suggests that female mayors might implement different policies from male mayors and therefore contribute to reduce gender violence.