India is a singular case in the history of democracy that turned its people into voters before they became citizens. This was not an easy task in the context of the horrors of partition, illiteracy, gender inequality, and acute poverty. A group of bureaucrats began establishing the practices of electoral democracy much before the first Indian election of 1951.
Why then does India still rank low in women's representation in the legislature despite having had women as its president, prime minister, and chief ministers? Why are there so few women in Indian politics? Do women leaders and women voters matter in Indian democracy? How will the world’s largest democracy, without adequate female representation, deliver policies that promote women's welfare?
Our speaker, an eminent economist with a keen interest in development challenges in India, will discuss the factors behind ‘missing women’ and ‘silent voters’ of Indian democracy? And what happens when there is a better representation of women in the electoral process and Parliament. She will argue why a greater female force in Indian society is critical even when it happens for electoral compulsions.