The study examined women’s views on various aspects of political participation, from voting to political careers, and the barriers in the way. Over 6,348 women from 11 states—Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Mizoram, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Telangana, and the Delhi National Capital Region—were interviewed in March and April 2019.

Only a little over a quarter of women respondents were keen on a political career, the survey results show. Six in 10 rejected the idea outright.

The main obstacle? Patriarchy.

Household responsibilities, wherein women had to take care of children, prepare family meals, and so on, and individual barriers such as a lack of interest, awareness, or education, were the next-biggest reasons. Cultural hurdles such as women not being permitted to talk to other men, the purdah system, and restrictions on mobility get in the way, too.

Moreover, a common perception was that a woman can only succeed in politics if she belongs to the upper echelons of society—upper caste and rich—and if she has a political background already.

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