Voter turnout, the extent to which those who are legally enfranchised exercise the most basic of democratic rights, is increasingly an area of interest among electoral administrators, academics and policy makers. In particular, gender activists and researchers are interested in measuring the differing levels of turnout between men and women. Traditional theories in participation pointed to a 'gender gap' between men and women, where typically more men than women would turnout to vote on Election Day. However, recent research seems to point to an 'inverting' of the gender gap, where women are demonstrating increasing interest in political and electoral processes.
International IDEA has collected gendered voter turnout statistics from the following countries:
For more information on voter turnout around the world see IDEA's Voter Turnout Database.
Requests for voter turnout statistics disaggregated by gender and age are common. However, it is unfortunate that most voter turnout results are not broken down into these categories by the electoral authorities reporting and collecting the information.
International IDEA invites electoral authorities to help in collecting voter turnout data that is broken down by gender. This is important for the following reasons:
- to confirm or challenge beliefs about differences in voting behaviour between men and women;
- to provide valuable research data allowing to identify trends across time and countries; and
- to serve as a basis for the design, targeting and evaluation of campaigns to get people to vote.