An extensive literature shows that economic globalization has a positive effect on gender equality. However, the effect varies greatly across countries and time. This article argues that social globalization – individuals’ exposure to external ideas, people, and information flows – and the changes in values associated with it – is a key boundary condition for the effect of economic globalization on women’s rights. While economic globalization opens up new opportunities for women, policy adaptation to these changes requires a social demand for efforts for change. Social globalization contributes to policy adaptation by exposing the public to alternative gender-role models, setting off a shift in values, which underlies support for gender equality. Results emerging from a time-series-cross-sectional analysis of 152 nations for the period 1990–2003 confirm that the positive effect of economic globalization on gender equality wanes at lower levels of social globalization. Further, multilevel-path-analyses models demonstrate how changes to individual-level values mediate the effect of globalization on individuals’ support for gender equality.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.
- economic globalization
- gender equality
- social globalization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations