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Women's political empowerment UPSC NOTE

 Women’s representation in other countries

  • The political empowerment of women is generally possible with two routes 

  1. The first is to reserve seats for women in legislature by means of legislation .

  2. The second is to have provision for quotas for women candidates within political parties while nominating candidates. 

  • Neighbouring Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan have opted for the legislative route and are faring better in terms of representation of women in their legislatures. 

  • In Pakistan, 17% seats are reserved for women in its national assembly.

  • Bangladesh has reserved 50 out of 350 seats in its Jatiya Sangsad and Nepal has reserved 33% of the total seats for women. 

  • Statistics show that there is an improvement in the number of women legislators being elected crossing the percentage of seats reserved for women which is a sign of women’s political empowerment in one way or the other.

  • Australia (38%), Canada (31%), South Africa (45%), and Sweden (46%)

Issue of women's political empowerment in India

  • There are many countries where there are no laws mandating quotas for women.

  • Political parties are required to give a certain percentage of tickets to women candidates. 

  • This is clear evidence that quota is not the only route for women’s political representation.

  • There is another route of reservation within parties while giving tickets, which is equally effective for women’s political representation.

  • The debate about women’s political representation has been going on in India for long; in fact the Bill reserving 33% seats for women was passed in the Upper House on March 9, 2010 .

  • The BJP -led NDA government has chosen the quota route for the political empowerment of women by enacting the Constitution (One Hundred and Sixth Amendment) Act of 2023

  • It is considered a milestone in terms of women empowerment (reserving by law 33% seats in State Assemblies and Parliament). 

  • It is important to note that the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with a huge majority, only two Members opposing the Bill.

Concerns of women’s quota

  • The initiative of enacting the women reservation Act, 2023 is a commendable move by the parliamentarians of the day. 

  • Due to its linkage with the new delimitation which will be done after 2026, we can say that the law looks good only on paper. 

  • In spite of not having any law, regional parties such as the TMC have fielded candidates successfully and won electoral battles. 

  • Not having an adequate number of tickets to women candidates even after a law has been enacted (though it will come into effect by 2029) does not send out a positive signal about political commitment to ensure women’s political empowerment.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Women's political empowerment UPSC NOTE
Women's political empowerment UPSC NOTE
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