Reservations for Women in Kerala’s Local Self-government Institutions: A Mere Tokenism?

Navaneeth M S
IIT Madras, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

Kerala is one of the many states in India which allow 50 per cent reservation for women in local self-governance through the Panchayati Raj act of 2005 and hence the representation of women in the same has risen to almost 54 per cent, as of 2015. However the same is not reflected in the upper levels of governance namely state legislature and parliamentary elections despite Kerala being praised as a forerunner of women empowerment in India. The current state legislature has a mere 8 female members out of 141, which was almost the same since the first assembly which had 7 women members. Not to mention the state also send only one member to the Parliament, a numerical trend which has been consistent since 1950. Through this article, I would be examining whether women members of various local self-government bodies (Panchayat, Municipality etc.) have the same agency as that of a man and what are the factors and conditions preventing her from achieving the same.