Journal Articles

The problem

Mekhala Krishnamurthy
Rachel Brulé, Simon Chauchard, Alyssa Heinze,


April 8, 2022

AS of late 2021, India counted the largest absolute number of women elected to political office of all countries in the world. India also has one of the world’s highest proportions of political offices currently held by women. The histories of Indian women as political leaders complement these rather remarkable statistics. India was led by a female prime minister far earlier than nearly all western democracies; a woman has led its ruling party; and many others – from Jayalalithaa to Mayawati to Mamata Banerjee – have led states larger than countries, sometimes for decades. This female leadership has turned traditional patterns of political dominance on their heads.

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