Gender and Intersecting Inequalities in Local Government in South Asia
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This paper is an evidence review of how intersecting forms of inequalities influence women’s political participation and representation at the local level in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The review shows that while the quota system has increased women’s presence in local government, intersections of gender and caste or gender and class affect minority women’s ability to contest elections, participate in local government meetings, contest opinions, and represent the interests of their community and that of gender equality in different ways. These intersections also make women vulnerable to discriminatory practices within the government and also to violence. How effectively minority women are able to tackle discriminatory practices is influenced by the nature of patriarchy, the history of women’s engagement in local level institutions, women’s involvement in political mobilisations and engagement of women’s organisations on these issues. The paper also identifies research, policy and programme gaps on intersectional identities and women’ political participation.