Party Variation in Religiosity and Women's Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective, 2008-2010 (ICPSR 30742)

Version Date: Aug 12, 2011 View help for published

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Fatima Sbaity Kassem, Columbia University

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This study was compiled with the goal of looking beyond the national domestic level into individual party-level explanations for women's political leadership. The study consists of two parts which analyze the party level for women's ascendancy to political leadership. Part 1 focuses on an aggregate of 25 non-randomly selected countries, Part 2 focuses on Lebanon. The study records the level of religiosity of political parties, where it refers to religious components in the party's political platforms or the extent to which religion penetrates a party's political agendas. Both datasets examine party variation in religiosity, party structure, respondents' station within a parties' decision-making inner structures, and other party-level characteristics that may impact women's leadership in various political parties. Additional variables include identifiers for Muslim, Arab, and European states, level of secularism, election design, party design, and age of party.

Kassem, Fatima Sbaity. Party Variation in Religiosity and Women’s Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective, 2008-2010. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-12.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2008 -- 2010
2008-01 -- 2010-12

The purpose of the study was to explore the impact of political party structure on gender inequality, particularly in parliamentary representation, in the political realm as a whole. The goal of this study was to compile a dataset that looks beyond the national domestic level into the individual party-level explanatory factors for women's political leadership, broadly defined to include their station within parties' decision-making inner structures. The primary investigator used this data to test the theory that political institutions, mainly political parties, are the main vehicles for women's ascendancy to political leadership. The dataset allows researchers to look at the impact of party-level characteristics and the influences they exert on women's chances in assuming leadership positions within political parties' inner structure. A large portion of the study focuses on religiosity and secularism of each political party studied.

The countries covered are a non-random sample based on a set of criteria to test the extent to which religiosity in party platforms influences women's chances in leadership. All relevant parties in the 26 countries, which have at least one seat in parliament, have been covered. Data was collected on 330 political parties and women's membership and leadership within these parties. Data on women in 330 political parties in 13 Arab and 7 non-Arab Muslim-majority countries, 5 European countries with Christian Democratic parties plus Israel, 2008-2010.


Twenty-six countries in Asia, Africa and Europe which have comparable ranking in Polity IV, hold periodic elections, and allow parties to form and compete. The Arab and non-Arab Muslim majority countries with populations over 50 percent. The five European countries are those that have Christian Democratic parties; Israel is the only Jewish State with Jewish political parties.

Political parties that are 'relevant'; i.e. that occupy at least one seat in the latest parliaments.

Structured interviews were conducted with party administrators and party officials -- as the main sources of information on women in political parties. These interviews were carried out by the national consultants based on a questionnaire and an information data sheet.

Part 1 contains 71 variables relating to 26 different countries. These include variables for identifying political parties in each country. It also contains a list of dichotomous variables for Muslim state, Arab state, and Europe state, along with political party age and name. Part 1 also includes variables on political party structure, political party successes, women's percentage in party, in party leadership, and in elected office. The final variables are computed interaction terms for the data set. Part 2 contains 39 variables linking directly to Lebanon. These also contain variables identifying Muslim, Arabic, and European states along with descriptors of each political party in Lebanon. These political party descriptors include female membership in parties, in party leadership, and elected as representatives from party. It also includes variables describing each party's quota system for female leadership, how the leadership is selected, and the decision making process for the party. The final variables that this dataset includes are the religiosity and secularism variables for each party.

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2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Kassem, Fatima Sbaity . Party Variation in Religiosity and Women's Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective, 2008-2010. ICPSR30742-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-12.

2011-08-12 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.