Gender Equality, Inclusivity, and Corporate Governance in India
Journal of Human Values, 2003, 19 (1), 15-28
23 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2014
Date Written: April 1, 2013
Equity, equality and inclusivity have been themes of abiding interest to philosophers, politicians, social reformers and activists alike. In the modern Indian context of political and social reformation spearheaded by Gandhi during the first half of the twentieth century, the imperatives of mainstreaming women in public and private spheres of activity was a theme that engaged many scholars and statesmen and attracted his serious concern. Not to give women their due share of responsibility and authority was to him as much a case calling for greater inclusivity as was the exclusion of vast proportions of the population from equal opportunities based on other legacy prejudices of caste, creed, and so on. Despite remarkable progress in many other spheres, countries in general are still way behind in rectifying the gender inequalities that still persist. This paper discusses, within the broader framework of equality and inclusivity, the theme of women in corporate governance with particular reference to India. Corporate boards, a key instrument in governing corporations, are still too thinly populated with women directors; there is comparatively little representation of women in positions of influence and importance within the bureaucracy associated with corporate legislation and market regulation; active involvement of women in the policy making legislative bodies like the parliament and its committees as well as in the ministerial ranks in post-independence India has been is minimal. This situation calls for speedy correction in developing countries like India which can arguably benefit most from such inclusion.
Keywords: Corporate governance, Women on Boards, Board composition, Diversity, Directors, Equality, Gender equality, Inclusivity, India, Gandhi, Mill, Wollstonecraft, Feminism
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