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Political Parties and Women's Representation in India and Iceland
A Comparative Study

Akhil Neelam

Published on 26th May, 2023

Understanding the Voting Behaviour of Young Women in India  (Twitter Post) (1).jpg

In 1975, India and Iceland had approximately 5% women's representation in their parliaments. Almost half a century later, India has 14%, and Iceland has 48% women's representation.  It is the highest in respective countries. The journeys taken by both countries are different, and how different actors contributed towards the change also varies significantly. India and Iceland are political party-driven democracies which historically saw coalition governments involving more than one party in the ruling governments and splits and mergers among political parties extensively. Through manifestoes, internal quotas and other measures, political parties shaped gender equality agendas. Thisstudy compares and analyses measures and actions taken by political parties in Iceland and India during 1975-2022 towards improving women's political participation and representation. The study intends to generate a comparative understanding that can be contextualised and adopted by politicians, parties, nonprofits and advocacy groups in both countries. The study adopts mixed-method data collection involving both primary and secondary research. Political parties' websites, documents, manifestos, and other relevant information are reviewed. Additionally, in-depth interviews and survey responses with 10 political party representatives and 6 Key informant interviews were conducted with historians, political scientists, and researchers who studied the modern political history of Iceland to comprehensively understand the status of gender equality in Iceland's politics. The existing literature, data collected, and insights  generated through my work as the Director of Centre for Gender And Politics (CGAP), India was leveraged to draw similar findings and analysis in the context of Indian politics.

Keywords: Women in Politics, Women in Indian Politics, Women in Iceland's Politics, Quota Laws for Women, Comparitive Study 

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