A Comparative Study of Gender Representation and Social Outcomes: The Effect of Political and Bureaucratic Representation

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This article examines whether gender representation of government leadership in the legislative and executive branches improves social equity related to women's social outcomes and how this effect is moderated by the status of democracy. Using a panel data set on 135 OECD and non‐OECD countries from 2005 to 2015, the analysis shows that in non‐OECD countries, political gender representation has a significant, positive impact on female educational attainment and overall gender equality, while bureaucratic gender representation is significant for educational attainment only. For OECD countries, political representation has a consistent effect on educational attainment, labor force participation, and overall gender equality, but there is no evidence of bureaucratic representation. Democratization plays a more critical role in shaping the relationship between institutional representation and women's social outcomes in non‐OECD countries than their OECD counterparts, where gender equality is attributable to broader social, economic, and cultural factors.