Women’s Political Participation and Leadership in India: Examining the Challenges

  • Titty Varghese Kaunas University of Technology
Keywords: women, political participation, democracy, empowerment, Kerala


Women's political participation regarded as an essential element in all forms of development; however, gender equality policies of India remain under scrutiny. After independence in 1947, there have been many initiatives to increase the political representation of women by decentralization of power in various local self-government institutions of India. The act of Panchayati Raj Institutions has increased the engagement of marginalized segments of society, including women, into the decision-making role in political institutions. Hence, this study is trying to explore the political leadership of women in Local Self Government institutions. Through the use of qualitative methods such as document analysis of the Panchayati Raj Institutions amendment act and the expert interviews with elected women representatives in one district of Kerala state, the paper seeks to identify the challenges of women in political leadership positions in India, the largest democratic nation. Findings from the study reveal that there is considerable progress in women’s equality in the leadership role; however, there are certain crucial obstacles still exist for women to be active in the political realm.