The debate over the inclusion of women in politics in India has taken place with a remarkable absence of an empirical base. The existing empirical work on the impact of women representation is essentially based on research conducted at the local (Panchayat) level.
The main objective of this project is the building of an open access composite sociological profile of the women elected to India’s Lok Sabha (national assembly) and Vidhan Sabhas (state assemblies) since the early 1960s. Beyond the standard socio-demographic variables, this dataset will include qualitative biographical data on women legislators, through collection and treatment of archival material and interviews.
A second objective is to create a dataset compatible with other existing datasets (such as the Indian Census), to enable scholars and policy makers to study whether having women elected representatives has any social and developmental impact on their constituencies. This dataset will also enable inter-state comparative studies.
Besides, the Centre also envisions to conduct sociological profiling of the women contesting elections. The project will also include the elected representatives of the last three assemblies for each state (including the current assembly). This composite profile will integrate, beyond gender, caste, religion, occupation, education, IPC charges, assets and information on political family ties.
Key Researcher: Gilles Verniers