Semantee Chattopadhyay
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“Woman is the eye of the nation”
The place of women in Indian politics reflects the opportunities and constraints that are associated with its democracy. Women have been key to numerous social movements and non-governmental organisations that underlie India’s vibrant civil society.
Whenever issues regarding women were addressed in the parliament our male politicians reached a new level of low grade. Politicians are often seen to use sexist remarks in parliament. According to a report published in 2017, India ranked 148th position in ‘Women in Parliament’ and at 88th position in ‘Women at ministerial position’. Our parliament currently has 11.8% women representation and state assemblies have only 9% even though ‘women empowerment has become a catchphrase in every government policy. Women need representation in parliament because it gives them equality. The constitution of India guarantees justice- social, economic and political, liberty of thought, and equality to all citizens. With gender-based violence ripping the country apart it has become more evident for an equal representation of women in politics. Self- representation and self-determination is a great step towards women empowerment.
The major challenges that women face are gender stereotypes. Women received less funding as compared to their male counterparts during elections. There is a lack of political network which in turn acts as a barrier for common women to take part in politics. The women reservation bill which would allow 1/3rd representation of women in the parliament has not yet been passed by the Lok Sabha. Although the bill needs some changes, as it only seems to benefit the urban and rich women and not the rural women. When women come to power, their leadership becomes delicate. When they become the minister of parliament their powers are generally limited. They are expected to strictly adhere to the party policy concerning women.