The womanstats Project Database: Advancing an empirical research agenda

Mary Caprioli, Valerie M. Hudson, Rose Mcdermott, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Chad F. Emmett, S. Matthew Stearmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article describes the WomanStats Project Database - a multidisciplinary creation of a central repository for cross-national data and information on women available for use by academics, policy-makers, journalists, and all others. WomanStats is freely accessible online, thus facilitating worldwide scholarship on issues with gendered aspects. WomanStats contains over 260 variables for 174 countries and their attendant subnational divisions (where such information is available) and currently contains over 68,000 individual data points. WomanStats provides nuanced data on the situation and status of women internationally and in so doing facilitates the current trend to disaggregate analyses. This article introduces the dataset, which is now publicly available, describes its creation, discusses its utility, and uses measures of association and mapping to draw attention to theoretically interesting patterns concerning the various dimensions of women's inequality that are worthy of further exploration. Two of nine variables clusters are introduced - women's physical security and son preference/sex ratio. The authors confirm the multidimensionality of women's status and show that the impact of democracy and state wealth vary based on the type of violence against women. Overall, the authors find a high level of violence against women worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-851
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Peace Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


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