The National Commission for Women
The Indian experience
in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?

This chapter examines the brief history of the National Commission for Women in India that was set up in 1990. It provides a background to the political system within which the Commission functions. The chapter also examines the options before the Commission in the light of the consensus that emerged on national machineries at the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. It explains the structure and functions of the Commission itself. The chapter points out the strengths and weaknesses of the Commission in the context of the politics of the country, as well as the parameters within which it functions. This analysis is based primarily on interviews with Commission members. The chapter concludes by raising some issues for the long-term functioning and efficacy of the Commission.

Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?

Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women

Editor: Shirin M. Rai

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