India’s failure to include enough women in politics

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

April 23, 2021

India’s failure to include enough women in politics


 Women wait to cast their ballots during the fifth phase of West Bengal’s state legislative assembly elections, 17 April 2021 in Kolkata (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images)

The world’s largest democracy has barely begun to draw on half its pool of candidates.

Indian politician Lathika Subhash smiled for the cameras last month and then shaved the hair from her head. Subhash was making a personal protest after being left off Congress party ticket for state elections in the southern state of Kerala. But her intent was not only to draw attention to her own flagging fortunes. The much bigger problem she wanted to highlight was women’s lack of representation in Indian politics.

The world’s largest democracy has held rolling elections in recent weeks across four state assemblies and in one union territory. Yet women – who make up almost half of voters – only comprised about one in ten of the candidates: 9% in Kerala, 7.8 % in Assam and 11% in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and West Bengal. Gender equality remains a distant dream.

Click here to read the full article published by The Interpreter on 21 April 2021.

Rajesh Trichur Venkiteswaran
Lowy Institute/ The Interpreter
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