Female Leaders Provide More, Are Thanked Less

Study in Indian villages shows women make government work for people, who in turn dislike their leaders
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 8:07 PM CST
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(Newser) – Women in power provide public services at higher levels, and they get less respect for it, a study of Indian villages shows. Researchers studied the impact of female leadership by tracking a law mandating that women lead councils in a third of villages. The quality of schools, health care and other services spiked as women took the reins—as did public dissatisfaction.

Female leaders got approval ratings 13% lower, Slate reports, though services improved in quantity and quality. Corruption and bribery plummeted, but even that didn’t help the new leaders in the eyes of the community. Why the disparity? Decisiveness and assertiveness are received differently in women than in men—often making the fairer sex appear aggressive and unlikable.