This study aims to examine the impact of gender inequality index (GII) values (UNDP) on happiness and life satisfaction overall, as well as the impact of selected demographic predictors (gender, educational level, income) and individual-level gender egalitarianism on these two components of well-being in gender equal and unequal countries. Partial proportional odds models are implemented to predict happiness and life satisfaction levels of respondents included in 7th wave of World Values Survey (Haerpfer et al., 2020). Main findings show that increasing gender inequality at the macro level increases the likelihood to be both very unhappy and very happy, and the pattern is the same for life satisfaction. Being more gender egalitarian, in gender equal countries, increases the likelihood of being very unhappy and the tendency to report being at a higher level of happiness than unhappy. In gender unequal countries, it improves the likelihood to be at higher levels of happiness than very unhappy but also the tendency of being happy or at a lower level. In both more equal and unequal contexts, increasing gender egalitarianism improves the likelihood to be more satisfied with life, for the latter with an increasing magnitude. While the impact of demographic components on happiness and life satisfaction does not vary in gender equal and unequal countries, gender egalitarianism demonstrates diversified patterns for especially happiness. Further studies need to focus on the dynamics between micro and macro level gender egalitarianism, and their individual and combined impact on different means of well-being.

Author Biography

Aslı Ermiş-Mert is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, and the Vice Director of the Center for Gender Studies at Koç University. She received her MSc and DPhil degrees at the University of Oxford. Her research mainly focuses on gender, employment, quantitative social research methods, and happiness studies. She has been working on various national and international research projects that focus on gender inequalities in society and particularly academia.