Women’s participation in politics: India ranks 98th


New Delhi: As the country celebrates the International Women’s Day on March 8,  statistics reveal that India  lags behind many countries, including its neighbors Pakistan and Nepal, when it comes to women’s participation in politics.

With only 10.8 percent of women representation in the Lok Sabha and 10.3 percent in the Rajya Sabha, India ranks 98 in the world, according to the data released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international group that works for promoting democracy, peace and co-operation in the  world.

India, the world’s largest democracy, has now only 59 women representatives out of 545 members in Lok Sabha, while there are 25 female MPs in the 242-member Rajya Sabha.

While India shares its position with Benin and Jordan, it is ranked 47 places below Pakistan and 80 places behind Nepal.

With 22.2 percent women MPs in its Lower House and 17 percent in the Upper House, Pakistan is placed 51 while Nepal is ranked 18, with 33.3 percent of female MPs in its Parliament, according to the IPU list released on January 31 this year.

Similarly China and Bangladesh also have a much higher representation of women in national politics compared to India.

While the Communist country is placed at 55 in the list, with 21.3 percent women representation, Bangladesh is ranked 65th, with 18.6 percent female participation in national politics, the data revealed.
Sri Lanka and Myanmar  are the only neighbors, which are placed above 100 in the list.

Following its election last April, Sri Lanka is ranked 122 with only 12 female members, or 5.3 percent, in the 225-seat National Assembly.

Myanmar, which allowed general elections last year after decades of military    rule, is ranked 124 with only 14, or 4.3 percent of female MPs in the 168-seat Parliament.

Among the countries with highest women participation in national politics, Rwanda ranks number one in the world with over 56 percent women members  in the Lower House and over 34 percent in the Upper House.

With 157 women MPs or 45 percent, in its national legislature, Sweden ranks two in the list while South Africa comes third with 44.5 percent women MPs in its Lower House.

Cuba had fourth highest women representation (43.2 percent), followed by Iceland (42.9 percent), Netherlands (40.7 percent), Finland (40 percent) and Norway with 39.6 percent.

Mozambique and Angola are placed at position nine and 10 with over 38 percent women participation in politics.

Countries like Germany, Italy, Britain, France and the US are ranked 19th, 53rd, 62nd, 63rd and 72nd respectively.

There are 12 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, which have zero women representation in their national assemblies, the report reveals.

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