Director of the MA Program in Political Science and International Relations School of Sciences and Humanities. The findings show that during the last 20 years the perception of the female politicians by the young generation in Kazakhstan has improved significantly, although the gender stereotypes about "female" and.
It is worth noting that Karakat Abden is also founder of the so-called Kazakh Institute of Fine Pann "Kazakh Girl" in Nur-Sultan. Furthermore, one of the members of parliament said: "In our mentality, we still have a banal and cynical stereotype: a cook cannot lead the state!" (Asian Development Bank 2013).
Gender stereotypes and voters’ behavior
Dolan (2014) argues that gender stereotypes have an indirect impact on vote choice, because they influence the voter's evaluation of the candidate. Moreover, gender stereotypes in politics are understudied in the context of non-democratic and non-Western states.
Ethnic cues, language and voters’ behavior
Despite presenting ethnicity and language as central cleavages in Ukraine, the main driver of voters. This means that in a real election, voters would make their choice based on the candidate's political orientation.
Women and politics in Kazakhstan
Kandiyoti (2007) argues that patriarchy became part of the gender narrative in the post-Soviet states of Central Asia. At the same time, we cannot see her career as emancipation of women in Kazakhstan, because she is a close relative of the first president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Interethnic relationships in the context of Kazakhstan
Although the politics conducted in Kazakhstan is aimed at building one national identity (Kazakhstanization), including a multi-ethnic component of society, people still continue to name their ethnicity - Kazakh, Russian, Uzbek or others. The decline of the Russian community in Kazakhstan is not related to the decline in knowledge of the Russian language. However, we observe the differences in political agenda for Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking segments of the population.
At the same time, some of the participants in the Russian-speaking opposition groups, including "Oyan, Kazakhstan", heard about Rinat Zaitov for the first time after these protests. It also demonstrated the enormous protest potential of the Kazakh-speaking audience due to their long-standing social problems. At the same time, minority groups in Kazakhstan continue to decrease, and the main division of society is based on the use of Kazakh and Russian languages.
Both languages have official status, but Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking segments of the population tend to have different political preferences. Due to the limited knowledge of the attitude of Kazakh voters towards female politicians, we decided to conduct the experiment among the young generation of Kazakhstan.
The Nazarbayev generation
However, the students of Nazarbayev University are believed to be different from other representatives of the young generation studying at state universities. For example, Bigozhin (2019) conducted a series of interviews with students from Nazarbayev University on the issues of "Kazakh women's education". He found that most of the students receiving or in the process of receiving Western education do not accept traditional gender roles in Kazakh society.
Furthermore, NU students are less likely to be nationalistic compared to the students of other state universities. Such differences between NU students and students from other state universities are explained not only by Western-style education, but also by the students' prior education, which they bring with them. The first explanation is based on Inglehart's modernization theory: the rate of change in gender roles does not correlate with the change in narratives.
As a result, the transformation of narratives turns out to be faster than the transformation of gender roles. The author also believes that it is the three narratives and the three gender roles represented within the students of Nazarbayev University because they are in the context of financial security.
Young people who have studied abroad or receive Western-style education are more likely to challenge traditional gender roles for women. At the same time, some of the young people would like to become "kelin" even if they received a western-style education. Sometimes such voter behavior is related to voters' expectations that the chosen candidate will represent their interests in high positions and they will have certain benefits.
However, studies conducted in Kazakhstan and Ukraine show that ethnicity has almost no effect on the evaluation of the individual in everyday life in these post-Soviet multi-ethnic countries (Frye 2015; Hernández-Torrano and Tursunbayeva 2015). H2: Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking respondents have different preferences regarding the gender of candidates. We argue that voter behavior will be more biased by gender stereotypes than by candidate expertise alone.
According to Huddy and Terkildsen (1993), characteristic stereotypes had a significant influence on the voter's judgment of the candidate's competence in a certain area of politics. For example, Matson and Fine (2006) examined the results of a series of elections for sacred communities in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1996.
Data and measures
To measure voters' attitudes and values, scientists use quantitative research methods. The link with the survey was posted in the official groups Vkontakte and unofficial chats of the university in Whatsapp. Our sample is more liberal in terms of gender attitudes than the World Values Survey sample of respondents who answered “agree” or “agree.”
The difference in the candidates' biographies is represented by different names, which serve as ethnic and gender cues, and also by age, marital status and number of children. The evaluation was based on the question "How competent is this candidate for the position of akim in your hometown in the near future?" and on the assessment of the candidates'. There are four key independent variables in this study: gender, income, gender stereotypes and respondents' language.
The variable for gender stereotypes was constructed as follows: the sum of four responses from the respondent was divided by four. In the case of Africa, people feel represented if the leader of the country is a coethnic.
For example, in the pair of candidates #5 and #6 (Table 2), female candidate was rated as less competent and her age is 33. In the first pair of candidates with Kazakh background, female politician was rated as more competent and scored 7 points higher average score than male politicians with the same biography. The difference between male and female candidates is less than in the field of security, except for the first couple of candidates.
As in the previous results, the first pair of candidates of Kazakh origin have significant differences in overall results. In the field of economics (Table 2), candidates of Russian origin were evaluated with a small gap. While the difference within the pair of candidates of Kazakh origin is the same as in the field of education (11 points), the female candidate of Russian origin was rated 5 points higher on average.
At the same time, the gap between the candidates with a Kazakh background was larger than the gap within the pairs of candidates with a Russian background. In the area of social and labor protection, female candidates achieved higher scores than male candidates.
It is also worth noting that the lowest average score was achieved by candidate no. 6, who is the youngest of all the candidates (he is 33 years old) and has no children. This means that more than half of the male respondents have gender stereotypes about female politicians. Therefore, Figure 1 shows a comparison of the evaluation results of the candidates, divided according to the linguistic preferences of the respondents.
Kazakh-speaking respondents evaluated the first pair of candidates almost equally with slightly higher scores for the male candidate (0.7 point difference), while in both pairs of the candidates with a Russian background, a Kazakh-speaking segment of the respondents rated the female politicians more positively evaluated. . At the same time, the opposite pattern is observed in Russian-speaking respondents, who evaluated Kazakh man from the first few candidates more negatively (49.3 points) than female candidate (60.5 points). To test my hypotheses, multivariate regression analysis was performed for each of the candidates.
The higher the income of the respondent's household, the higher he rates the male candidate (p-value = 0.027). It is worth noting that in 3 out of 4 pairs of candidates, women were at a disadvantage compared to men.
Who supports women politicians in Kazakhstan?
The analysis of the survey experiment shows that there is a difference in the evaluation of female candidates between Russian-speaking and Kazakh-speaking segments of the young generation. The results of this experiment show that the majority of young adults in Kazakhstan tend to evaluate female politicians more negatively than male politicians. I consider it a positive trend occurring within a limited part of the well-educated young generation in Kazakhstan.
This means that some of the young adults are interested in politicians, their activities and experiences. For example, the results of the statistical analysis show that the female candidates would not be assessed positively in the security area. It is surprising that the age of the female candidates also plays a significant role in the voters' assessment of the politicians.
The level of gender stereotyping of the hypothetical voter is the key independent variable that has a significant impact on the evaluation outcome of the female and male candidates. The two segments of respondents also rate female politicians in different ways according to their preferred language.
This study is not only relevant to Kazakhstani society, but also contributes to existing studies on policy perceptions. The proposed research contributes to building knowledge about the perception of policies in non-Western countries under authoritarian rule. At the same time, we note that the revival of traditional gender roles and patriarchal values in the years of independence influenced the construction of attitudes towards politics in the unique case of Kazakh society (Tatkeyeva 2018).
There has been a very limited amount of research on the differences in political attitudes of Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking voters in Kazakhstan. So we see that this has influenced the construction of the political attitudes of the Kazakhstani electorate. First of all, the results of the study are only relevant for the young generation.
This does not allow us to draw any conclusions about the female politicians' perception of the minority groups in Kazakhstan. The role and place of the Parliament of Kazakhstan in the system of checks and balances.