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Gender gap and gender differences in national party choices in Indian general election, 2014

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Traditionally, Indian women have been more likely to vote for the Indian National Congress (INC) compared to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) than men. In this paper, I draw from the Developmental Theory of Modern Gender Gap on party choices to formulate hypotheses about the socio-demographic factors and gender differences in attitudes that could have led to the gender gap in party choices in the 2014 election. I test these hypotheses by conducting statistical analysis of data from Wave 6 of the World Value Survey. My research shows that contrary to the modern gender gap theory, the gender advantage of India’s centre-left party comes from states with low levels of human development in comparison to more developed states. I also find that the Developmental theory cannot explain this gender gap as Indian women are still overwhelmingly represented in categories that lead to the traditional gender gap.
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