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Representation of WOMEN in Indian Politics

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

While we talk about Women empowerment, I think it's best to look at how the women are doing in Politics. Let's try and understand about it through some analysis.

Women represent 10.5 percent of the total members of the Parliament and state assemblies account for about 9 percent of the leaders. In the last 75 years of independence as per the Election Commission of India the representation has not even grown by 10 percent in Lok Sabha.

There can be several factors responsible for the poor representation of women in Indian politics such as gender stereotypes, lack of political network, financial strains, and unavailability of resources, etc. but one prominent factor that hinders the inclusion of women in politics is the lack of political education amongst women in the country.

  • According to Global Gender Gap Report 2020, India ranks 112th in educational attainment out of 153 countries, which reveals a stark involvement of education as a factor that determines women’s participation in politics.

  • The disparities between overall voter participation and female voter participation are greater in states with low literacy rates. Males participate in the same proportions whether they are literate or not.

  • Women’s social mobility is influenced by their education. Formal education, such as that given in educational institutions, provides an opportunity for leadership and instils critical leadership abilities. Due to a lack of political knowledge, women are oblivious of their basic and political rights.

  • Education does play quite an important role when it comes to political representation of women. Majority of Indian women politicians are highly educated such as Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India; Union Minister Smriti Irani ; Atishi Marlena, an MLA from Delhi; Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal; Mahua Moitra, an MP from West Bengal.

  • The question of literacy not only restricts to contesting but also, to voting. Women’s total engagement is low in states where female literacy is low and high in areas where female literacy is high.

  • Some improvements in female literacy over the previous decade does not change the situation, female voter participation has remained relatively flat.

  • In states like Uttar Pradesh, where only 10 percent of the women are representing in state assemblies, out of them 77.5 percent women are graduates and post-graduates while the number is comparatively lower for men.

  • In West Bengal, only 14 percent of the women elected for the state assemblies have around 60 percent literacy rate, and male leaders are considerably low.

If women understood and exercised their POWER they could remake the WORLD - Emily Taft Douglas

The comparison here shows the stark reality of political education amongst Indian politicians, as female politicians are much more educated than male politicians but still lag in terms of representation, and portrays an evident link between literacy and politics for women in India.

As you see the political representation of women in India is quiet low and we could only hope for things to change around in the coming years.

stay tuned for more.



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