Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender Barriers and Solutions to Leadership Debate: Women in politics and parliament

13 replies, 13 voices Last updated by Manpreet Singh 2 years, 10 months ago
  • Woospire
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    Women are vastly underrepresented in most democratic legislatures. Those who support this proposition are in favour of applying one form of ‘affirmative action’ or ‘positive/reverse discrimination’ to argue that female politicians should be preferred over male ones in order that parliaments will reflect the gender balance of their electorate.
    This may be done either via targets (e.g. the aim to get a certain percentage of female candidates): a flexible but easily bypassed system; or by quotas (the necessity to get a certain number of women politicians) which are legally enforceable but inflexible. Possible methods would include all women shortlists of from which parties would select their candidate, two member constituencies (one male, one female), or alternating male/female politicians on party lists. For example, in Belgium from 2000 no more than two thirds of election candidates may be of the same sex; whilst Norway and Germany have imposed quotas of up to 40%.
    Essentially, what the affirmative is arguing for is equality of outcome; the negative counters with equality of opportunity.

    Proposal A
    In representative democracy it is vital that every part of the population be proportionately represented. The present lack of female voices in parliament symbolises the continuing unconscious male societal bias.

    Proposal B
    Representative democracy is there to represent the interests of every sector of the population, which may be done without MPs visibly being strictly representative. Why must women be represented but not every other sector of society — and to ensure parliament exactly reflects demographic makeup is impossible.

    Darshini Suresh
    Participant
    @darshinisuresh
    #30698
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    I strongly agree with the fact that women are underrepresented in political decisions and posts offered, and that there should be some measures taken to tackle this situation of letting more women be presented at the parliament too. Women, not only in India but also all over the world, find themself under-represented in Parliament and are pushed out when it comes to decision making for the society.
    Every country has its own characteristics when it comes to playing in the fields of politics, and in every country the one thing common is the lack of participation of women. Women go through many hurdles when they are to be standing at the political line in any country. These obstacles include social, economic and political barriers. More often in many places and countries it is seen that women themselves do not feel the urge to stand up and participate in things relating to political activities. Is this because of the lack of motivation?
    Their proportion compared to males is not at all significant in any positions of parliament right from the top level to the bottom. Today India ranks out of 190 nations world-wide when it comes to lowest participation of women. This does make a huge difference. Women can be a great idol when it comes to being superior and making decisions in important matters of the country politically. Isn’t this a universal right? Why are women pushed back so much. Our country has had many female role models like Jayalalithaa (amma) and Indira Gandhi who have led the country really well in the past, and this surely proves that women are no less than men when it comes to taking fight decisions and opinions regarding important topics.
    To dispel all these under-representation problems, there must be quotas available for women who want to stand and hold into political grounds. There should be a rise in reservation of seats for women for standing in elections. This would surely bring in motivation for women and boost their self-esteem. Women should be given awareness about education on the subject of politics and role modelling which would encourage them to actually stand and participate in politics. Our country’s Constitution has lapsed the bills multiples tomes which stated reservation of women’s seats by one third through discussions and oppositions. But this bill should surely be bought back.
    I feel that India’s Election Committee should take an effort to actually encourage women reservation in political parties by offering them equal number of seats as men without having to face any barriers. This is not an assured but surely a less complex way of moving the growth of the nation forward. Role-models would increase, and this would create more engagement of women in Parliament. India has had some women prime ministers and chief ministers for long terms, and they are the proof that women are equal to men when it comes to bringing about a balance in the country regarding its growth in economical and social aspects.

    Manpreet Singh
    Participant
    @manpreet
    #31091
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    In my opinion, it is not a hidden secret, not only in India but the world over, that women are not given an equal opportunity as compared to their male counterparts. This glaring omission is very obvious in the Indian political scene Where the number of elected women representatives is less than 10% of the total. in the latest Lok Sabha election, only about 50 women representatives elected auto of the total 500 plus seats. Now, how one can expect that women’s welfare would be properly looked after with this abysmal level of women’s representation in the Indian Parliament?
    Proposal A gives out a proper opinion that for any democratic setup, an equal representation of various actors of the society must be ensured. No doubt proposal B has a valid point that women’s representation must be diversified into various roles, but the core problem of discrimination would not solve without ensuring an equal representation in the political scene, because through political representation only the core problem can be tackled.
    The ideas that are given about how a proper representation can be secured, be it a quota, percentage, etc. are all viable but before we adopt any of this formula we must ensure that our women are properly educated and made aware of their rights because as we have him in our political scene, many major women political representation is a mere puppet in the hands of the patriarchal setup. One of the famous examples is that of Rabri is Yadav, wife of Lalu Yadav, who ensured that the whole Bihar political circle is run according to her husband’s wishes.
    Also so we have seen that most of the women politicians are a mere token symbol for their political parties. Political parties try to rope in famous actresses to create a poster girl image to garner a vote. Such token representation is not going to do any good for the ultimate cause of women’s welfare cause in this country. For kind of women representation is given in the Indian Parliament or the local constituency, it must be ensured that the voters choose only those representatives that are ready to dedicate to the cause of women welfare.
    Ultimately I would say divide the thing boils down to the deep-rooted patriarchal setup of this country, to make a positive change we must start teaching at our home to voice that it is not ok to make discrimination that is being made daily. till we make our home in order, we can’t expect Revolutionary change in the society

    nehachitroda
    Participant
    @nehachitroda
    #31297
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    WOMEN IN POLITICS AND PARLIAMENT
    Politics play an important role in any country’s growth may it be in terms of national origin, socio-economic background, ethnic groups, etc. Parliament consists of Lok Sabah with around 543 members and Rajya Sabha with approximately 250 members, but the proportion of women are not that equal between male and female, and we can see that there’s unequal distribution.
    Proposal A, in my opinion, is valid, there should be a proportionate distribution of each gender, if male legislators can work efficiently then women too, can be that eligible and efficient in their work. However, when it comes to a woman in politics and their involvement in the real decision-making process, the power still lies with the men. There are some countries where now all are at par in politics too, but India somewhere lacks behind in proportionate distribution. Even though reservations are an important tool for more women in politics to enter the parliament, a positive enabling environment alive with gender equality in terms of access and opportunities, distribution of resources is equally important.
    We have great examples of women in politics and parliament and other fields too like; Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Pratibha Patil, Jayalalitha Jayaram, Nirmala Sitharaman, etc. So, we have many great women achievers in this field. Countries like Spain, USA have a larger share of women in parliament. In India, we can see there a rise in women’s participation in elections. But there’s a need or can say that women should take initiative.
    If a woman can handle each situation spontaneously then she can excel in this field too as we have really lived examples present within us. Parliament must bring change in their proportion and should consider women’s too eligible for politics. There’s a quote given by Elanor Roosevelt; “ Men get into politics to win elections Women get into politics to change the world .”

    simran arora
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    @simran
    #31306
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    Women in politics and parliament

    Women empowerment remains only to be a slogan in today’s age. Countries like Iceland have been promoting gender equality since 2009. Contrarily, a few countries have been falling back for years more than one can count. The events in the initial year were pleasing for the people across the country when Kamala Harris became the Vice President of America. The responses in India were also overwhelming. However, the irony stepped a bar in the Indian air when half of them failed to recognize only one woman politician across the state governments in the country.

    If we look over the data across years, we remember the names of the Gandhi descendants, but what about other female politicians? At present, Mamta Banerjee is the only female chief minister in India. Is this not gender inequality? Of course, it is! When we preach about gender inequality, we mention new ways and strategies to improve the situation, but sadly, we are not attentive to the statistics. Even before, the appointment of women politicians in the Indian government stayed for a short while.

    In January 2021, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka represented her opinion on women’s participation in politics and parliament. She stated, ‘it could be difficult for any country to prosper without women’s engagement.’ Any society moves forward with a balance in society. She further mentioned, ‘we need to represent women who not only reflect other women in society but who also diversify their identity across cultures, not to forget political situations. Thus, it is the right time to take the procedures forward.’

    The largest UN gathering on gender equality considered women’s effective participation and decision-making ability a priority. Further, the theme leads to women’s participation in society, which begins from politics and parliament.

    The countries with 50% or more women participation globally are few. Some of them are Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Spain, etc. The dream of equal gender equality is far away, as the first step is yet an illusion in many countries.

    When we talk of gender equality, we must not forget about women’s representation in our country, especially in politics. If I ask you how many women politicians you do remember? You may answer with names like Smriti Irani, Jaya Bachhan, Mamta Banerjee, and Indira Gandhi. The stories of women like Rabri Devi go hidden. Not only, gender equality would come with preaching women’s empowerment, but also having information about previous leaders. Perhaps, knowledge is equally important. Thereby, Proposal A justifies my discussion and seems more valid than the other.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by simran arora.
    PALAK KASHIV
    Participant
    @palak
    #31318
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    I agree with purpose A. There are not many women in politics as compared to men. There is a reservation for the seat of women but beyond that, no women are coming forward. Somewhere women still have the fear of raising voice even if some women try to come forward they don’t get support from the people, also warning from superior parties they would be molested also rape threat. That’s why it’s very difficult for women to survive, there should be a serious investigation on political leaders. Women’s situation will not improve if our country has educated women leaders. Our India needs more great women leaders like mother Teresa, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitaram Pratibha Tai Patil, smriti Iran many more great women which brought massive change. Nowadays young women don’t only want to go into politics because they think they have less knowledge, it’s a very tough battle for women to fight. We need a safer environment for women to come forward. When leadership opportunities arise women need to be motivated and encouraged by their family and society. According to statistics, only one woman from the district is standing in the election this is a condition. I think there should be an equal number of seats for women and men. According to reports, women receive fewer votes than men. If there will be fewer women we will continue to see violence against women, gender equality. Even if there are women MPs in parliament their opinion should be appreciated by other members and equal opportunities should be given to them. Primarily if some women come forward for standing in the election and other women should give to them. The government needs to create awareness among rural areas to come forward and make them participate, also needs to educate women about politics by conducting seminars that gather the interest and encouraged the women to take part.
    ‘’We need women at all level, including top to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.’’-Sheryl Sandberg

    Apoorva Pathak
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    @apoorva
    #31339
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    Politics and parliament are essential parts to make good governance in every country. If we see this, we will find that the environment of these to is changing now towards gender equality more participation of women in political activities and contesting the election in the different region making their idea and contributing in the world’s progress. If we look at the U.S. senate we will find that there is a historical rise in women participation the even U.K also has a large number of women participation in the general election. Argentina becomes the first country to have a gender quota law in 1991. Even in India panchayat act 1992, it has allowed reservation of 50% women representation but it is worth full? In reality, women in rural India are uneducated they are not much well aware of these acts and working.
    We will also find that in our parliament there is no reservation of women still because of politics which cause because male dominance even after the bill was passed in Lok Sabha it is still not passed in Rajya Sabha. We also find that globally is at 103 ranks among 141 ranks while in Asia it at 13th position among 18 rank list. Although we have provisions in our constitution in which our leaders strongly focus on the upliftment of women’s society.
    Albeit we have crossed many hurdles for the participation of women in politics are still many more to go. We will also find that in many developing countries women are coming up and these countries have changed their economic and social status.
    Women are not only capable of understanding things in a better way but also look into them from a different point of view. If we want to build a better world, we have to work on Ethics which can only be achieved by “leaving no one behind”.

    Shumaila Siddiqui
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    @shumaila
    #31652
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    Just like other fields women are represented in less number and their participation is often neglected. Definitely, woman’s should be in politics and parliaments in a number of positions. Women have contributed their vote from the time elections has started, and they have the right to stand and voice their opinion in parliament
    Undoubtedly, women are more keen in voting, going to public offices and political parties at smaller reach more than men. In India’s general elections, women participation in voting is high rather than men. In terms of representation of women in parliament of India, it has 20th rank which is counted from bottom.
    We talk about the gender equality everywhere and trying to implement in every sector possible but Indian constitution has enshrined the equality. We have some great history on women participation in Indian constitution, still we are hesitant to welcome and uplift women in position of power and leadership.
    However, as we are moving forward in a society, we are still witnessing fewer involvement and participation of women in politics.
    In 1996 September 12 a bill was launched in Lok-Sabha that a 1/3rd seat in parliament and state legislature for women, drafted by H.D.Deve Gowda lead united front government, Due to some political issue a bill was not passed. Yet a number of efforts and action has been implemented towards the establishment of women in politics from the time of independence, yet we are lacking to reach the goal of equality in politics gender wise.
    What efforts need to be taken?
    Reservation plays an important role to make women participate more in politics but impactful positive warrant society which pops out the gender equality by providing more access, chances and availability of resources with the same extent are very important.
    By having more and more awareness and liberation in decision-making process we can see a transition of changes in politics and parliaments.
    Make a rule for liberation of women so that they can work more independently and not under anyone’s command and pressure.

    Anika
    Participant
    @anika
    #31685
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    “The world is wasting a precious resource in the dramatic underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, often resulting in the exclusion of women’s talents and skills in political life.” – Madeline Albright, Former United States Secretary of State.
    Women are vastly underrepresented in India’s political climate. It is very tough to see an equal number of politicians from both genders because the ratio of men is higher than that for women. In fact, India ranked 149th out of 193 Countries for women representation in the parliament.
    I agree with Proposal A. It is important that every part of the population should be represented equally. Men outnumber women on a large scale when it comes to politics. With the lack of female politicians in India, it is very hard to get our issues heard. Men might not understand the scale of the issues concerned with us. Although there are some male politicians who understand that we face a lot of issues, they might not fully understand it from our perspective.
    There are many female politicians in India who have had the position of chief minister, prime minister and president respectively; namely, Jayalalithaa Jayaram,Indira Gandhi and Pratibha Patil. Although parties which were or are being led by women exist, the size of women MPs in the party are significantly less when compared to the amount of male MPs.
    When there are more women in a political party, significant changes occur. Women are concerned with policies which concern family and equality.
    Although women politicians are a great advantage, many are still not confident of having a woman leader. These types of attitudes should stop. Male dominated parties are at a disadvantage as well. Even if female politicians exist in their party, the men take the final decision at the end of the day. Women are capable of making their own decisions especially when their policies concern them. People need to have faith in women politicians so that there will be less of an attitude towards women and encourage more women to be educated on their issues and go into politics, if they’re interested.

    Yash Tiwari
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    @yash
    #31800
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    Today, women are more visible, more powerful, and in greater numbers than ever in recorded history. In many countries, they have the vote and the right to work or own property. They receive more schooling, live longer, and are increasingly represented at all levels of government and in many different professions. However, global progress for women is too slow. Even before the recent ‘#Metoo’ movement, the media was reporting a marked increase in the number of women choosing political careers. In 2017, a third of the newly elected members of America’s House of Representatives were female, and there are now more than 100 female senators across the world. According to the international organization Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), this is the highest ever number in history.

    This trend of slow change is hard to break. Many women are still reluctant to put themselves forward for public life. Institutions may adopt positive discrimination practices, but these still have limited impact, and in some cases merely draw attention towards the very fact that there is a lack of women. Women in politics are sometimes targeted for violence and harassment in the community, at home, and work. Women are also subject to more subtle forms of discrimination, like being portrayed as weak or less intelligent than men during campaigns.

    Some fear this discourages women from running for office. There are cases, too, where women have not received support from political parties because of their gender. Despite these obstacles, women continue to contest and win elections around the world. In The She 100, we celebrate 100 women who have broken through political glass ceilings in 80 countries over two years from 2012 to 2014. Women who enter politics can sometimes face the greatest challenges. One such challenge is campaigning for votes, which can be expensive and time-consuming, and comes with many risks. Campaigning encourages some people, especially the more extreme members of society, to commit acts of violence against women candidates.

    Research shows that quotas cannot be considered a panacea: they must be backed up with training, support programs, public awareness campaigns, and other measures to increase women’s engagement in politics. However, the experience of quota systems around the world has also shown they can help break down barriers without having detrimental long-term effects on political institutions or party dynamics. Women now constitute the majority of the world’s agricultural population and about three-quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas where women play a vital role.

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