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Changing the Terms of the Discourse by Kumud Sharma

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Extracts from Towards Beijing

A Perspective from the Indian Women’s Movement

February, 1995

Political Participation of Women

Women’s participation in the political process is central to the functioning and strengthening of democracy but equally it is crucial to their struggle against oppression. The extent to which they acquire the ability to express their concerns and struggle for their rights politically and challenge the hierarchies and ideologies that hold them in bondage determines the extent of liberation they can hope to realise.

For the women’s movement that needs to interrogate both traditional and modern ideologies and institutions there can be no delinking of social action from political action i.e. participating in the formal political ...

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