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Finding out why women are so under-represented in Indian politics

  • Date

    Mon 10 Feb 20

Sayan Banerjee

An Essex academic is aiming to find out why women are so under-represented in politics in India.

Sayan Banerjee, from the Department of Government, has been awarded a grant from the International Growth Centre to investigate what makes voters choose women candidates.

As he explained: “There is an abysmally low number of women in Indian politics, but we don’t really know why. Through this research we’ll be looking at whether the caste they are from or their religious background, affects the electoral prospects of women candidates. We’ll also be looking at whether violence in a particular region deters women from standing for office.

“Having more women involved in local and national politics would bring both social and economic benefits, but to achieve this we need to understand why they are so under-represented at the moment.”

Sayan is working with academics from Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and research partners in India on the project, which will include survey experiments and focus groups in Bihar, India.