Dalit Women in Indian Politics: Making Impact through Parliament?

IDRC's Democratic Governance, Women's Rights and Gender Equality initiative is supporting a body of comparative research on whether and how democratic processes and institutions are responding to women's rights and gender equality. The projects under this initiative will investigate issues surrounding women's participation in political decision-making, the judiciary and the public sector, and explore ways in which state institutions, political parties, civil society and kin-based social organizations can be influenced to advance women's choices and entitlements as citizens, including through increased representation.

A previous IDRC-supported research project on Dalit women's rights and citizenship in India (104939) showed that Dalit women are not "just like" other women in the way they experience discrimination. They are also subject to caste-based exclusion that deprives them of opportunities to escape poverty and denies them a voice to claim their rights. This grant will take the work further by examining the impact of Dalit women's political participation on economic and social policy outcomes affecting their constituencies, communities and families. The results are expected to initiate serious debate in policy and academic circles on Dalit women's political participation and representation, and serve as a baseline for future studies.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, January 20, 2011

End Date

Friday, July 5, 2013


24 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 98,400


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Dr. Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal


Indian Institute of Dalit Studies

Institution Country


Institution Website