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Indian Journal of Federal Studies (1/2011)

ISSN No. 0976-8408

From Subordination to Equal Participation: Gender and the Necessity of Political Presence

Joya Bhattacharya


Gender disparities in political participation result in a breakdown of the democratic ideal of equal protection of all interests. Gender inequities in the private domain are reflected in the public sphere and the political effectiveness of women depends upon the nature and scale of their political engagement in a range of institutions in the political arenas of the state. Given that most representative bodies are masculinist, hierarchical and highly regimented it is unrealistic to expect the entry of more numbers of women to be able to effect changes in the deeply embedded set of gendered norms and practices and the impact of these numbers can at best be gradual and incremental. However, it is now widely accepted that presence is required if new rules are to be made and the old norms to be changed. Difference has to be compensated and recognised in order to achieve the final agenda of transforming gender relations from one based on subordination to one of equality.

[Page No. 51 - 59]





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