The dynamics of Indian politics is reflected in the flexible and fluctuating relations between the centre and the states as well as in the equations within the multiparty political system. This book is one of the first to explore the participation of women in state politics in India and how women navigate the dynamic spaces and hierarchies of the Indian political system.

With the help of in-depth studies of 16 states in India, it analyses the gender profile of political parties and legislative bodies in these states; the question of women’s representation which is miniscule in legislative assemblies and women voters and their voting choices. It also explores the roadblocks and barriers they face, along with a study of women’s participation in informal politics. The chapters in this book underline the need for women’s active participation both inside and outside the party system to make democracy more robust and meaningful.

Topical, rich in empirical data, this book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of Indian politics, gender studies, political science, sociology, public administration, and South Asia studies.

chapter |52 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

Women in Haryana's politics

Myth of empowerment

chapter 3|18 pages

Women in Punjab politics

Missing, voiceless, inactive

chapter 7|19 pages


Beyond the politicking of gender politics

chapter 9|15 pages

Women in Goa's politics

The need for fast tracking to achieve gender equality

chapter 10|20 pages


Engendering the dilemmas of democratic politics

chapter 11|17 pages

Women and politics in Gujarat

chapter 12|16 pages

Women and Politics in Maharashtra

chapter 13|13 pages

Women in Madhya Pradesh state politics

An analysis

chapter 14|16 pages

Women legislators in Rajasthan

A paradoxical scenario

chapter 16|16 pages

Engendering Bihar politics

Myth or Reality?

chapter 18|17 pages

The landscape of inadequate assertion

Women in Bihar politics

chapter |9 pages


Glimpses of perspectives/experiences of four women active in politics and movements