Writing in the Wall St Journal yesterday to mark International Women's Day, Dr Melvin Konner answers this question firmly in the affirmative:
There are not yet enough women heads of state to study them systematically, but there are enough in other governing roles. In a 2006 study, political scientist Lynne Weikart and her colleagues surveyed 120 mayors—65 women and 55 men—in comparable cities of over 30,000. Women mayors were far more likely to alter the budget process and seek broad participation.
Perhaps it is time for us to consider returning to the hunter-gatherer rules that prevailed for 90% of human history: women and men working at their jobs, sharing, talking, listening and tending children. Men didn’t strongly dominate because they couldn’t; women’s voices were always there, speaking truth to male power every night around the fire. There was violence, and it was mainly male, but it was mostly random, accident more than ideology.
Women won’t make a perfect world, but it will be less flawed than the one that men have made and ruled these thousands of years. My grandson, I think, will be happy in the new world. It will be better for him because women will contribute so much more to running it.
In 2014, the Lowy Institute polled Australians on this question, and the response was more equivocal: