Reservation for Women in Politics | UPSC Notes

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Reservation for Women in Politics

Ambedkar  Politcal power is the key to all social progress. 

  • Odisha House passes a resolution for 33% reservation in State Assembly!  
    • Odisha already has 50% reservation for women in Local Bodies (actual figures are >>50%)


Cabinet — 22% | Lok Sabha — 12% (4.5% in 1st Lok Sabha)

Global average = 22.9% — still lags behind by a margin.

A steady increase — 46% of our panchayat members are women (1.3 million+) | 1951 — only 45 women contested LS elections while in 2014 — 668 women did so

Implication — 

Social — 

  1. Observing a member of their own group in charge of a public office changes attitudes and infuses confidence in the vulnerable/minority group.
  2. Empirical evidences —
    1. Increase in the responsiveness of the official towards the pleas of disadvantaged groups
    2. From WB and RJ — better and efficient crime reporting and investigation by the women in case of women local head
    3. Led to more investment in drinking water and roads in response to complaints by local women.

Economic outcome:

  1. Strong connection between implementation of political reservations and small-scale entrepreneurship among women.

Way Ahead

  1. Women Reservation Bill
  2. Political Parties should reserve seats for women in their various committees 
  3. Avoid ‘Lalu-Prasad Syndrome’ — when a woman is offered ticket to be after all controlled de facto by a man. 
  4. Lack of education and leadership training among the women. Need to increase the participation of women in politics even at the local level.

Vicious Cycle —  where socio-economic disadvantages → reduced opportunities for women to participate in the political process →weakened representation → retards the process of addressing those socio-economic disadvantages.

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