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Authority, Powerlessness and Dependence: Women and Political Participation


  • V Vijayalakshmi

    (Institute for social and Economic Change)

  • B K Chandrashekar


Affirmative action has enabled the representation of women in panchayats and enhanced their political status in local government. While they now possess authority through being incumbents of elective positions, this has not been translated into power (i.e. the ability to actually effect outcomes). Gender and other social differences hinder the exercise of power by women representatives, and have reduced their effectiveness as political representatives. Thus, what is required is an alternative conception of power which is centred not on the position but on the individual.

Suggested Citation

  • V Vijayalakshmi & B K Chandrashekar, 2002. "Authority, Powerlessness and Dependence: Women and Political Participation," Working Papers 106, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  • Handle: RePEc:sch:wpaper:106

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    Cited by:

    1. Anand Inbanathan, 2003. "Affirmative Action and Dalits: Political Representation in Panchayats," Working Papers 138, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    2. V. Vijayalakshmi, 2004. "Citizenship, Differences and Identity: Dalit Women and Political Inclusion," Working Papers 147, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    3. V. Vijayalakshmi, 2005. "Rent-Seeking and Gender in Local Governance," Working Papers 164, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    4. Pratyusna Patnaik, 2007. "Power Sharing in the Panchayats of Orissa," Working Papers 178, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.

    More about this item


    Local Government; Women in Politics;


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