Women’s adverse incorporation into party politics: political labour in India and Indonesia
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Despite policies and initiatives to address women’s under-representation in formal politics across Asia, the problem remains entrenched (Paxton and Hughes 2014). Significant scholarly work has examined the extent of, and reasons for, women’s exclusion from political power (Krook and Norris 2014; Inglehart et al. 2002), or derived lessons from exemplary cases of women who have achieved it (Dewi 2016; Spark et al. 2018). While important, this focus on ‘exclusion’ and the ‘exceptional’ overlooks the large number of women who devote energy and time to politics, but do not go on to hold positions of power. In particular, there is a gap in our understanding of the full extent of women’s political labour and its appropriation to perpetuate male dominance. This paper will examine the different ways women are (adversely) incorporated into political structures as offering a new vantage point from which to build understandings of democracy and political life. Such an approach is critical to developing policy and practical measures that go beyond mere inclusion (for example through gender quotas), to changing the structures of political systems to recognise and reward women’s contributions.
- R & P Seminar