Women's studies

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2010
Women's studies
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 2:16am

Beginning with Hirschman (1970), social scientists have recognized the
importance of voice for the survival and success of any organization, be it a
country or a firm. However, we know very little about the specific forms of
representation that maximize effective voice. For instance, in our context, are the
benefits to the minority community maximized by being represented in more
influential positions at higher levels of governance, or by large scale
representation at the lower level? We are able to address this question by using
the fact that, in addition to village presidents, as well as village and district
council member positions, one-third of district council chairperson positions in
India were also reserved for women, by rotation across districts. While all districts
within a state have an identical (one-third) fraction of their council membership
reserved for women, they do differ in whether the chairperson position is reserved
for women. A priori, it is not obvious  whether the impact of women district
chairpersons will be larger or smaller than that of female district council members
and sub-district level representatives. If district chairpersons have a greater degree
of influence with local police, their impact on crime may be larger, while if the
greater proximity of village level leaders to both the police and the victims is a
major factor, then having a female district ch