Notre Dame's Lakshmi Iyer does research on women in politics in India, and particularly why so few women run for office. Below are comments she made on a recent episode of the Vox Dev podcast

"One of the first things we established in our paper was not that woman stand in elections and lose, there are no female candidates." Women do a little better than men getting elected, but they have to run, she noted.

Iyer and her colleagues also found, not surprisingly, that in states where there is more gender bias, there are fewer female candidates. This is generally a result of sex-selective abortion or neglect of girl children. In these states, it was predictive of how the state would vote. 

Iyer also found in a study conducted in West Bengal - one of the largest, most populous states - that after a woman serves two terms in a row, people are much more likely to agree to statements like: “Women can be just as good leaders as men.'" 

At the local level, having women in power leads to empowerment for all women. 

"When you have more women in local councils, you get a lot more reported crimes against women. In fact, we found something like a 25 percent increase the reported crimes against women which was inititally startling to us but then we realized that reporting these crimes and getting them recorded by the police force which is 95 percent or more male is the first step in achieving justice." 

You can watch Iyer speaking on these topics here.

Iyer and other Notre Dame experts are available for comment. A full list of experts and the topics they can comment one is here. Notre Dame has an on-campus studio, so we can easily set up remote interviews


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