Women's bill: Countries with highest proportion of women MPs have reservation within parties

Across parties with 10 or more MPs in the Lok Sabha, women were as likely to win as men, the PRS Legislative Research report said.

Published: 20th September 2023 03:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2023 03:28 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: As Parliament debates a bill providing reservation to women in Houses of People, a think tank study shows several countries having a high proportion of women representatives do not have laws mandating a quota but there is reservation within the political parties.

According to an analysis by PRS Legislative Research, countries like Sweden, where 46 per cent of the public representatives are women, Norway (46 per cent), South Africa (45 per cent), Australia (38 per cent), France (35 per cent) and Germany (35 per cent) do not have any law reserving seats for women but some political parties provide reservation.

Bangladesh, which has 21 per cent women MPs, has a law providing reservations to women. Out of the 300 seats in the Bangladesh Parliament, 50 are reserved for women.

The study also claimed that reserving seats for women in Parliament would restrict the choice of voters.

According to the think tank, experts suggest reservation within political parties as an alternative or a system of having dual-member constituencies.


Around 15 per cent of the total members of the 17th Lok Sabha are women, while in the state legislative assemblies of the country, women on average constitute just nine per cent of the total members. Around 13 per cent of Rajya Sabha MPs are women.

When political parties are considered, 42 per cent of BJD MPs and 39 per cent of TMC MPs are women. The BJP has 14 per cent women MPs and Congress 12 per cent. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC and the BJD fielded the highest proportion of women candidates.

Across parties with 10 or more MPs in the Lok Sabha, women were as likely to win as men, the PRS report said.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday took up the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, also called the Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyum, for consideration and passing. The bill seeks to provide one-third reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The reservation will be effective after the next delimitation, and the reservation will be provided for a period of 15 years. However, it shall continue till such date as determined by a law made by Parliament. Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation.


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