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Bring in The ‘Fair’er Sex!
Greater Entry of Women has to be Encouraged at Various levels of Governance, as it is known to be Very Beneficial to Society
Issue Date - 23/06/2011
History is testimony to the fact that improving participation of and contribution by women in a country is a definite and valuable stride towards prosperity and development. The Indian Constitution does give women several rights, including the right to vote and be elected. But their participation in reality paints a grim picture. According to a UN survey of women in politics in 2008, India belongs to the lowest quartile with just around 9.1% women MPs in parliament. Even some conservative and relatively underdeveloped countries like Mozambique (34.8%) and Rwanda (56.7%) are way ahead. These countries believe greater women participation can improve governance and transparency.

Is India realising this? There have been policy initiatives favourable to women. Reservation has been increased to 33% for women in Gram Panchayat and municipal elections. The Rajya Sabha passed the historic Women Reservation Bill. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has also promised 50% reservations for women in the upcoming municipal elections in 2012. Currently, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has 96 (out of 272) women councillors (35% of the total).

There is one most positive factor that often escapes attention while discussing reservations for women. Global experience and empirical evidence has shown that women tend to be the least corrupt in the society and tend to rarely use fraudulent means. Case studies like Grameen Bank in Bangladesh only give loans to women as they have a near to 100% loan return rate. Imagine the wonder that could be India if our most corrupt municipality, tax and police departments nationally could have a majority of women.


Amir Hossain           

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