Research Insights: Can Female Representation Decrease Gender-Based Violence?
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The number of femicides in a district decreases by about 10 percent the year a female Representative is elected, but we find no effect on rapes. Looking at the entire duration of the term, the effect on femicides vanishes and there is a significant increase of around 25 percent in the number of rape victims. This pattern is consistent with higher reporting rather than an increase in the actual prevalence of violence. The drop in femicides is mainly driven by a deterrence effect that results from higher police responsiveness and effort in solving gender-related crimes.