Topic: social empowerment
1) The status of Indian women will see an upswing with more reservation for women in Indian parliament. Discuss. (250 words)
Why this question
Ensuring proportional representation to women in parliament is seen by policy makers as a panacea to the issues surrounding women empowerment. On this parameter, while the debate in India has lingered on for a long time, no concrete action has been taken. The article examines these issues and is useful from a GS1 perspective.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to bring out the significance of enhancing participation of women in parliament, highlight how India stands in comparison to other countries. Thereafter we need to debate whether proportional representation to women in parliament will enhance the social status of women and finally discuss the way forward.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight that election to the 17th Lok Sabha is going to be held soon and the participation of women in parliament remains on shaky ground.
- Discuss the status quo of India in ensuring adequate representation to women in parliament – India ranks 153 out of 190 nations in the percentage of women in the lower house of world parliaments. According to a list compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda ranks first with 61% of its lower house representatives being women. As a region, Nordic countries are leaders with an average of about 40%. The UK and the US are relative laggards with 32% and 23%, respectively. The United States’ current tally, though still moderate, is bolstered by a very strong showing by women in the recent congressional elections. Even Pakistan with 20% participation from women is ahead of India. India had 65 women out of 545 members of Parliament (MPs) elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in May 2014, for a 12% representation.
- Give your views in favour of the view that e enhancing women participation in parliament would ensure the upliftment of status of women. We can talk about the experiences of having reservation for women in local bodies and how it has ensured in bringing more power to the women
- Also debate that merely enhancing participation of women is not enough, needs to be supported by a holistic range of steps
- Highlight what can India do in this regard
Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.