Female leadership


Published 28.08.19
Photo credit:
Goutam Roy

Affirmative action in local Indian politics increased graduation rates for girls and reduced the aspiration gap between boys and girls

Esther Duflo talks about work she did in India where there is a policy of affirmative action for women in politics at the local level, meaning that in every election, a number of randomly chosen villages must elect a female leader. Duflo and her team could compare those villages to others who had not ever had a woman elected. Not only were their policy efforts different than their male counterparts, they found that this exposure to a woman in power resulted in higher graduation rates for girls, reduced the parents’ aspiration gap between boys and girls, and increased teenagers’ own aspirations for their lives and careers.