Government of India, India, Parliament, Stories, Women

Women in the Union Council of Ministers (1947 to 2020)


On the occasion of Women’s day, here is a look at representation of women in the Union Council of Ministers. From the 1st Lok Sabha to the current 17th Lok Sabha, women have been part of the council of ministers holding various portfolios.

In this story, a compilation of all women Ministers of Cabinet, Ministers of States with Independent Charge, Deputy Ministers etc. is made including their portfolio and the party they belong to. The compilation has been made using various sources such as – archival records of initial composition of council ministers since independence, archival records of change in portfolios since 1952, archival records of council of ministers since 1990s, and a handbook on council of ministers 1947-2015.

Abbreviations used

  • MoS (IC): Minister of State with Independent Charge
  • MoS: Minister of State
  • I & B: Information & Broadcasting
  • WCD: Women & Child Development


  • Any woman who has been a part of a council of ministers irrespective of the tenure has been included in the list.
  • All those mentioned in the story may or may not have held the same portfolio for the entire period of the Lok Sabha. Some of them may not even have been part of the council of ministers for the entire duration of the specific Lok Sabha.
  • Some of them may have held multiple portfolios or their portfolios may have changed during their tenure. However, only the first portfolio they held in a specific Lok Sabha or the most prominent portfolio is listed here.
  • Party affiliation listed here is the party they were part of while holding the ministry.


About Author

Aprajita is driven by her ardent interest in a wide array of unrelated subjects - from public policy to folk music to existential humour. As part of her interdisciplinary education, she has engaged with theoretical ideas as well as field-based practices. By working with government agencies and non-profit organisations on governance and community development projects, she has lived and learned in different parts of the country, and aspires to do the same for the rest of her life.

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