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WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN NUMBERS

The figures on the representation of women in parliament reveal an appalling state of affairs. According to a study conducted by Inter-Parliamentary Union, India ranks 149th in a list of 193 countries in terms of women’s representation in the lower or single house of parliament (Lok Sabha, in the case of India) as of July 1, 2017. The average percentage of women’s representation globally stands at about 22%, whereas in case of India it is a mere 11.8%. Countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Fiji and Ghana rank higher than India. In South Asia, Nepal (48), Afghanistan (54), Pakistan (90) and Bangladesh (92) rank much higher than India. Even in the Rajya Sabha, the representation of women stands at a meagre 11.1%. An empirical study of the members of legislative assemblies reveals how skewed the gender representation is in state legislatures. Out of 4,128 legislative constituencies, only 364 are represented by women legislators.

Women make-up half the nation’s population. No country can afford to ignore the skills, talents and experiences of half its people. In addition institutions that exclude women’s experiences and Perspective are likely to make decisions that do not take account of the reality of women’s lives. Policies made in these circumstances are unlikely to meet women’s needs. There is a growing recognition that democratic structures cannot claim to be truly representative of they fail to reflect the population they are intended to serve. Although women’s participation in democracy has been higher up the political agenda over the past ten years the actual proportion of women politicians remains low. Despite general acceptance of the need for a gender balance in decision making bodies at all levels, a gap has persisted.

  • Political participation of women has the potential to change societies.
  • It can have impact on outcomes for women and children especially in the distribution of community resources.
  • Their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction is important to ensure the safety and protection of children and vulnerable sections of populations.
  • Women’s political empowerment and equal access to leadership positions at all levels are fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a more equal world.
  • Equal representation in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy
“Behind every successful man in politics
there is a WOMAN who is deprived of the
chances to be in POWER.”

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  • Political parties should come forward to increase women representatives. The absence of critical mass of women representatives has pushed women to the fringes in power sharing and has adverse impacts on the overall political status.
  • Equal participation of men and women is not only a prerequisite for justice and democracy, it is an inevitable condition for harmonious human existence as well. Effective representation of women in decision-making structures will have a bearing on the policies, vision and structure of institutions. And that’s something everyone should be fighting for.

"Today's global problems require leaders that have diverse skill sets and innovation that can only come from diverse ideas and players. Women bring the skills, different perspectives and structural and cultural difference to drive effective solutions. In short, female leaders change the way global solutions are accomplishment!"

"That's why it is important to keep pushing forward. Fairness and equality are admirable goals in themselves. And women have consistently proven that they are able to benefit policy in important ways."