Women are more likely to vote than men, but they’re also more likely than men to use their votes to influence policy, according to a new study.
A national study published Wednesday in the American Sociological Review found that when asked whether they would vote, the median woman in her 20s or 30s said she would vote.
However, when asked if they would use their vote to influence other people, the same percentage of women said they would do so.
The study also found that women who used their votes were more likely in their 20s and 30s to be in the top one per cent of earners in their region.
Men who used theirs were more than twice as likely to be ranked among the top 10 per cent in their age group.
The authors say the finding indicates that women’s empowerment, which is seen in some of their other areas, may be part of the reason why more women are becoming involved in politics.
The findings could provide insight into how to harness women’s power and influence in future campaigns.
The paper is the latest in a string of studies to look at the gender gap in politics, including one released last year that found women were three times more likely as men to vote in the U.S. election than men.
More women have entered politics, and more are likely to do so as the country moves closer to a government-to-government deal that would give women a share of federal revenue.
“The fact that women make up the majority of the voting age population, but are only about one-third of the elected members, is not surprising given that they’re the ones who actually wield political power,” said David Roberts, a political science professor at the University of Waterloo.
“I think the reason that the gender difference in voting is still not well understood is that we haven’t considered that all the different kinds of people who are voting, and voting, might be different.”
Women are often blamed for the country’s ills, and they often take on a more active role in political life, Roberts said.
Women are also less likely to have children, making it more difficult for women to participate in the labour market.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which released the study, said the results were particularly noteworthy given the fact that more women than men are choosing to vote.
“It seems that women, despite the many challenges we face in life, are more than willing to put in the time to get involved in their political communities,” said Robyn Hodge, executive director of the Canadian Centre.
“Women have been more than capable of doing that, even though there is still much work to be done to make it more equal for all women.”
With files from The Canadian Press