More women in politics linked to significant health improvements

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The FINANCIAL — A new study has found greater numbers of women elected to political office is associated with an increase in life expectancies of women and children.

The research, from experts at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Bocconi University, published in the journal Demography, found that countries where women comprise at least 30% of the legislature see a significant reduction in their mortality rates. The authors suggest that women’s parliamentary presence could improve efforts to advance social and political development.

The study assessed changes in the share of national political representatives who were women, and mortality rates in 155 countries between 1990 and 2014, using World Bank data.

The authors showed that when the presence of women in national legislatures reached the UN advocated ‘critical mass’ of 30%, the mortality rates for mothers and children fell faster. The largest improvements in mortality were observed in countries with lower democracy and development.


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