The participation of women in politics in India is deeply paradoxical. While women turnout in elections has significantly increased in the past few elections, and while women make a majority of elected members of local democratic voters, their representation in the Lok Sabha and State assemblies remains abysmally low. The trends from recent elections and current state of nominations suggest that women voters are becoming pivotal to electoral outcomes; a change that has forced political parties to consider women as a distinct group of voters. The growth of women participation in the political sphere has however not translated into improved inclusion by political parties.
The panel will discuss the emerging contours of women politics in the run-up to the 2019 elections and the reasons why most parties remain so impermeable to gender parity.