||Women’s access to financial resources is popularly hailed and strongly evidenced to
be a development tool that champions women’s economic empowerment. Globally, does
economic empowerment through women’s access to formal financial resources translate
to women’s political empowerment in established political institutions? To what extent
do women’s use of formal financial resources (defined as use of financial and savings
accounts, credit cards, and the taking of loans from financial institution) correlate
with women’s political representation in national parliaments?
The purpose of this thesis is to utilize cross-national data to investigate this question
by examining the extent to which women’s access to formal financial services is correlated
with increased women’s representation in national parliaments. This thesis will utilize
data from the World Bank’s “Gender Statistics and Indicators” database from 195 countries
around the world to test the existence, direction, and strength of any potential relationship,
controlling for important confounding variables. (World Bank, 2013) Statistically
significant relationships that emerge will then be analyzed in the context of other
scholarly works to draw conclusions, discuss policy implications, and suggest areas
for further investigation.