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Women make up half the country, but their representation in politics is a mere 8%. This, despite 49% voters being women.  Over 70 years after Independence, the percentage of women being elected to the state assemblies and parliament is still very low. Issues related to women's well being are not given adequate attention even today. In order to combat this, we would require more women to be elected as representatives. The percentage of elected women members in Lok Sabha has never reached even 10% of its total strength. Their share in state assemblies is close to 5%! India ranks as one of the bottom countries in terms of women representation in politics, lagging behind many developing countries as shown in the graph below.

One way to solve this problem is to make it legally binding to have a fair proportion of women in the elected bodies. This is what the Panchayati Raj has done in India. One-third of seats in local government bodies – in panchayats and municipalities – are now reserved for women. Now there are more than 10 lakh elected women representatives in rural and urban local bodies. This must be done in the national level to establish gender equality in the field of politics.


~Soumya Gupta

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