India ranks low on women's representation in politics, Americas, Europe at top

Regionally, women’s representation in the Americas made the most significant gains, according to the report by UN Women.

Published: 16th March 2017 08:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2017 10:04 PM   |  A+A-

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File photo of the Indian Parliament. | PTI

By Online Desk

United Nations: The number of women in executive government and in Parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched on Thursday by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.  India was placed at 148 in representation of women in executive government.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of UN Women, has called for reservations for women across the world.

The data showed that women made up 11.8 per cent of the Lok Sabha in India where 64 were elected to the 542-member house and 11 per cent of the Rajya Sabha with 27 of the 245 members.

India ranked 88 in the number of women ministers with five or 18.5 per cent in the cabinet.

Regionally, women’s representation in the Americas made the most significant gains, according to the report by UN Women.

Women’s participation in parliaments rose to 25 per cent from 22.4 per cent in 2015, even as the region saw a drop in Heads of State with the Presidents of Brazil and Argentina leaving office.

Female ministers in Africa saw a decline in numbers, after years of steady growth. About 19.7 per cent of the region’s ministerial posts are held by women.

In Asia, women hold 11 per cent of ministerial posts, led by Indonesia whose government is comprised of 25.7 per cent women.

Among the Arab States, 9.7 per cent of senior executive posts are held by women, led by Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, at 23.1 per cent and 26.7 per cent, respectively.

In Europe, the total percentage stood at 22.5 per cent. A surprise came from the Nordic countries which have traditionally led the global stage in politics, but whose number of female ministers fell by more than six per cent to 43.5 per cent.

“These developments show that progress in gender equality remains slow in all structures of power and types of decision-making. Power is still firmly in men’s hands, and although we have witnessed some positive trends-for example, the current record number of 53 women Speakers of Parliament out of 273 posts, globally-much remains to be done if women are to play on a level field with men,” said IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong. “Equal representation in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy.”  

The report was launched on the sidelines of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women, known as the largest inter-governmental forum on women's rights and gender equality. The theme this year is on women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

A common theme throughout the Commission has been the gender pay gap. Women on average are paid 77 cents for every one dollar earned by a man.

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