As women worldwide make gains in all levels of government, (a dozen now hold positions in their countries as prime ministers or presidents), the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey of 46 countries and the Palestinian territories finds that majorities in most publics around the world express the view that women are as good as or better than men as political leaders. The countries of Western Europe, North America and Latin America generally include the highest proportions of respondents who rate men and women as equally good political leaders. In the United States, fully three-quarters say men and women make equally good political leaders, and that opinion is even more widespread in Western Europe. By contrast, majorities in Mali (65%), the Palestinian territories (64%), Kuwait (62%), Pakistan (54%), Bangladesh (52%) and Ethiopia (51%) say men make better political leaders than women, as do nearly half of Jordanians (49%), and 48% of Nigerians (although in Nigeria a slim 51% majority rate women leaders as equal or superior to men). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.