Do Women’s Parliamentary Representation Increase Government Health Spending in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Issa Dianda, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Aminata Ouedraogo, Jean de Dieu Goumbri


It is widely recognized in the literature that the increased political participation of marginalized sections of the population allows their interests to be taken into account in public policies. At the same time, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the percentage of women parliamentarians rose from 12.1% in 2000 to 24% in 2019. Likewise, health systems are characterized by public underfunding, limited accessibility of health services, and relatively weak maternal and child health indicators. This article evaluates the effect of women’s parliamentary representation on government health spending in a sample of 39 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 2000-2017. The estimates made with fixed effects method, random effects method and panel-corrected standard errors method reveal that government health expenditure increases with the proportion of seats in parliament occupied by women. Therefore, this study advocates for the increase of women participation and representation in political and decision-making spheres.

Keywords: Women political participation, health, government health spending, panel data, sub-Sahara Africa

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-18-09

Publication date:September 30th 2020

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