T. Varghese “Mapping leadership traits and challenges of women’s political empowerment at Panchayati Raj institutions in Kerala state of India” doctoral dissertation defence

Thesis Defense

Author, Institution: Titty Varghese, Kaunas University of Technology

Science area, field of science: Social Sciences, Political Sciences, S002

Scientific supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eglė Butkevičienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, S002)

Dissertation Defence Board of Political Sciences Science Field:
Prof. Dr. Irmina Matonytė (General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, S002) – chairperson
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Usha Kottookunnel Bhaskaran (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, S002)
Prof. Dr. Natalija Mažeikienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Education, S007)
Prof. Dr. Vaidas Morkevičius (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, S002)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aurelija Novelskaitė (Vilnius University, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)

 

Dissertation defence meeting will be at M7 Hall at The Campus Library of Kaunas University of Technology (Studentų 48–M7, Kaunas)

The doctoral dissertation is available on the internet and at the library of Kaunas University of Technology (K. Donelaičio g. 20, Kaunas)

Annotation:

Women’s political empowerment is considered as the foundation for societal development, and it experiences many challenges  especially in developing countries such as India. Mahatma Gandhi advocated a decentralizing system in villages and local levels to empower women in India. This system is known as Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and implemented this advocacy as an essential act by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1992. This policy increased women’s access to political power in India since it provides 50% reservations for women at the Local Self-Government Institutions (LSG). Therefore, this research aim is to investigate the leadership traits and challenges of women’s political empowerment at Kerala’s Local Self-Government Institutions. The theoretical approach of the dissertation was based on participation and democratic theory, theory of leadership, liberal feminism, and theory of intersectional feminism. The data for the study were obtained during the Erasmus + internship period in India during 2018–2019, in which direct interviews with local self-government representatives from Kerala were conducted. The study revealed that the PRI policy increased women’s political empowerment in the panchayat. Through this, women leaders at LSG feature various leadership traits such as intelligence, confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability. These leadership traits help them succeed in the political sphere, thereby increasing their political empowerment. However, they face various social and cultural challenges in leadership. The study also revealed that men have a positive outlook on women’s political leadership at LSG, encouraging women’s political empowerment.

September 23 d. 10:00

M7 Hall at The Campus Library of Kaunas University of Technology (Studentų 48–M7, Kaunas)

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