Indian leaders and women’s organisations wanted to ensure that women would participate in and be elected to the legislatures in India’s first elections. Ultimately, however, only a small number of women were selected as candidates, and even fewer were elected to the legislatures. This article explores some of the mechanisms and ways in which this gap emerged in relation to the registration, representation and participation of women in the run-up to and during India’s first elections. In pursuing these three lines of inquiry, the article aims to shed light on the ways in which women related to and appropriated the notion of popular authorisation of the government, and what was their role, in this regard, in democratic state-building during the early days of the republic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research for this article was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [Grant no. 1153/14].
© 2021 South Asian Studies Association of Australia.
- India 1950s
- first elections
- popular sovereignty
- women’s representation
- women’s vote
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science