Women in Politics

Women in Politics

This article deals with ‘Women in Politics .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

Introduction

Women have a very low status in the political scenario in the country. The number of women in the Parliament has never crossed the 20% mark till now.

Women were  not considered fit for politics earlier. According to philosophers like Kant , women have inability to control emotions & thus, inability to be impartial & rational, requires their exclusion .

Following amendment bills have already been introduced

  • 73rd & 74th amendments to the constitution has provision of reservation of 1/3rd for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions .
  • 108th Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide  1/3rd reservation  for women in Lok Sabha .
  • 110th Constitutional Amendment Bill  to reserve 50% seats for women in Local Bodies .
  • Pam Rajput Committee recommended  50% reservation of seats for women at all political levels .

Data of Women Representation in Politics

  • (17th) Lok Sabha has 14.6% women representatives .
  • Rajya Sabha has 11% women representatives .
  • State Legislatures have just 9% women representatives (some states like Nagaland  have 0% women representation) .

Case Study of Bhakti Sharma

  • Bhakti Sharma , sarpanch of Barkhedi Abdulla village was just 25 years old when she left her job with attractive package and post-graduate degree in political science to become Sarpanch of her village.
  • She  gives up her two months’ salary to each family where a girl child is born in the village
  • In 2015, she was chosen as one of the 100 popular women in the country .

Women in Politics

Problems in Reservation approach

  • One-size-fits-all policies designed in New Delhi backfires in states like Nagaland  .It would perpetuate unequal status of women since their merit will always be questioned.
  • Right to choice of voters restricted . 
  • Sarpanch Pati Syndrome  : In many places the concept of sarpanch pati has emerged where the women is just the nominal sarpanch, whereas her husband is the real decision making authority.
  • Reservation do not lead to real empowerment as seats are contested by women from rich families, business and political families.

Watch this video to know more about the phenomenon of Sarpanch Pati

Points in favour of reservation

  • In states like M.P , Kerala , Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan etc. where the reservation has been extended to women in local municipal corporations and PRIs , positive impact on governance is visible where they are headed by women. Women representatives have contributed immensely in overcoming social taboos and constraints like removal of ghunghat , sitting at same height as men on chairs etc.
  • Though it begins at token equality that caused acute discomfort and even confrontation, women especially dalit has been able to push boundaries and create space in the decision making sphere across all sectors.
  • The acts made by women are more gender sensitive and are able to include female perspective in them.

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