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Soc Sci Res. 2016 Jul;58:122-134. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.01.002. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Do scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women legislators mean lower gender-caste gaps in primary schooling in India?

Author information

1
Department of Global Health, Boston University, USA. Electronic address: nhalim@bu.edu.
2
Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, USA; Department of Sociology, Emory University, USA.

Abstract

Despite India's substantial investments in primary schooling, gaps in schooling persist across gender and caste-with scheduled caste and scheduled tribe (SC/ST) girls being particularly disadvantaged. The representation of SC/ST women in state legislatures may help to mitigate this disadvantage. Specifically, because of her intersecting gender and caste/tribe identities, a SC/ST woman legislator might maintain a strong sense of solidarity especially with SC/ST girls and women, and support legislative policies benefitting SC/ST girls. Consequently, for this reason, we expect that living in a district where SC/ST women represent in state legislatures in a higher proportion may increase SC/ST girls' primary school completion, progression and performance. We tested this hypothesis using district-level data between 2000 and 2004 from the Indian Election Commission, the 2004/5 India Human Development Survey, and the Indian Census of 2001. As expected, the representation of SC/ST women in state legislatures was positively associated with SC/ST girls' grade completion and age-appropriate grade progression but was apparent not SC/ST girls' primary-school performance. SC/ST women's representation in state legislatures may reduce gender-caste gaps in primary-school attainment in India.

KEYWORDS:

Castes; Gender; India; Intersectionality; Primary education; Women legislators

PMID:
27194655
PMCID:
PMC5668905
DOI:
10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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