Reservation and women's political freedom: Candidates' experience from three Gram Panchayats in Kerala, India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


K Jafar


Social Change, Sage Publications, Volume 43, Number 1, p.79–97 (2013)



capabilities, Kerala, panchayats Introduction, Political freedom, women?s reservation


Based on the capability approach, this article tries to see the implications of reservation policy on the political freedom of women in Kerala. Using a primary survey of candidates in a recent panchayat election in Malappuram district of Kerala it establishes the role of reservation in bringing many educated young women into local politics and decision-making bodies. It also reflects on the role of party and non-party forces such as family and religion in local politics and political freedom of women. The article concludes that the new reservation has resulted in improving the constitutive political freedom of educated-young women in Kerala, but the instrumental political freedom resulted from reservation has not been as evident.


Copyright belongs to the Publisher