Impact of women leaders

21 January 2013

An extract of Live Mint

Political reservations for women create a ‘potential of presence’ (Agarwal 2010), and offer prospects of diversity and other governance benefits.

However, in settings where gender discrimination may affect the characteristics and attitudes of candidates for political office, women representatives are less likely to be politically or administratively experienced. Thus, even if women political leaders were inherently more development-oriented than their male counterparts, existing disparities might initially blur and significantly delay the onset of governance gains.

While evidence on the quality of public service delivery in gram panchayats (GPs) headed by women in India is unclear (Chattopadhyay and Duflo 2004, Ban and Rao 2008), research on the impact of female leadership on corruption in public programmes is practically absent. This fundamental neglect is of immediate policy relevance, given the renewed global commitment to increasing women’s participation in political life (World Development Report 2012) and the intense debate within India about whether to reserve state and national legislature seats for women or not.

SourceFarzana Afridi, Live Mint

Read the full article: Live Mint

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