UN report: India lags behind in Asia for representation of women

The report acknowledged that the worldwide average of women in national parliaments augmented in a meagre way from 22.6 per cent in 2015 to 23.3 per cent by the end of 2016

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United Nations, March 7, 2017: A report by a global inter-parliamentary institution on the account of the international women’s day stated that India was the only country in Asia to suffer from “setback” in women’s representation in parliaments in 2016.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) ‘Women in Parliament’ in 2016 review released ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 stating about more ambitious measures
needed to be taken for enhancing the representation of women in the parliament.

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The reports call for a new approach in which inclusion of more women in decision making is witnessed.

In Asia, women’s representation in parliament increased by 0.5 per cent, from 18.8 per cent in 2015 to 19.3 per cent in 2016.

Moderate increases, were registered in all the countries holding elections – Iran, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, the Philippines, South Korea and Viet Nam – “with one notable exception” of India.

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“India recorded the region’s only setback. Reserved seats were successfully introduced for women in local government elections in 1994. However, a proposed constitutional amendment introduced in 2008 and intended to reserve national- level seats for women continues to be bogged down in parliamentary debate,” it stated.

Direct and indirect elections and Government appointments in June and July 2016 sent back a total of 27 women of the 244 members of Rajya Sabha. This was a 1.7 per cent decrement in the number of women to 11.1 per cent from 12.8 per cent at the previous renewals.

The report acknowledged that the worldwide average of women in national parliaments augmented in a meager way from 22.6 per cent in 2015 to 23.3 per cent by the end of 2016.

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However, in the recent years, the rate of progress has stabilised accentuating the need for relentless efforts in order to accomplish gender balance in politics.

“We must seize the opportunity to build on the successes of recent years because hard-won progress can often be fragile and readily lost, particularly at a time when engaging in politics has become even more challenging.

“Parliaments are crucial to ensuring women are among the world’s most high-profile leaders and to strengthening the policies and legislation needed to meet the goal of gender equality and women’s full and equal participation at all levels by 2030,” IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong spoke.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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