Broken Pathways to Politics: Clearing a Path from Grassroots to Representative Politics

Tanya Jakimow, Mario Gomez, Viyanga Gunasekera, Aida Harahap, Asima Yanty Sylvania Siahaan, Nadine Vanniasinkam, Ramona Vijeyarasae, Yumasdaleni Yumasdaleni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article seeks to explain why so few women make the journey from social activism and community work to standing for election. Comparative research in Indonesia and Sri Lanka reveals four operations critical to mending the broken pathway to politics for non-elite women. Transference entails the recognition and valuing of women’s preexisting skills, knowledge and experiences gained through grassroots activity for the political field. Amplification is required of women’s symbolic capital so that it impresses upon a larger public. Women’s political constituency and social networks need to be extended to be commensurate with electoral boundaries and campaign needs, and to extend limited financial resources. Women’s sense of self (who they are and desire to be) needs to fit the ethical terrain and “feel” of the political field, requiring an operation of translation. This analytical heuristic can help identify strategies to mend the broken pathway from grassroots to representative politics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    JournalJournal of Women, Politics and Policy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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