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29th December 2023 (8 Topics)

The flipside of ‘Nari Shakti’

Context:

India's gender disparity in politics persists, with male-dominated decision-making impacting women politicians, hindering equality despite legal measures.

Gender Disparity in Indian Politics

  • Amnesty Report Ranking: India ranks 148th globally in women's parliamentary representation, highlighting the stark gender disparity in politics.
  • Online Harassment: Female politicians, especially from multilingual areas and marginalized castes, face severe online trolling, as per Time magazine's gender equality index.
  • Male-Dominated Decision-Making: The male standpoint shapes laws, reinforcing stereotypes for female politicians, limiting their roles and speeches in Parliament.

Legal Measures and Their Limitations

  • Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam: The law reserves 33% seats in Parliament, aiming to enhance women's representation, but its implementation may take time.
  • Role of Women MPs: Despite having the largest number of women MPs, the female members of Parliament often maintain silence on rising crimes against women.
  • Media Representation: Women politicians often play roles choreographed by men in media coverage, limiting their genuine participation and reinforcing stereotypes.

Challenges and the Path Forward

  • Reservation Possibilities: 33% reservation in Parliament could enhance women, minority, and SC/ST representation, but challenges in male-dominated politics persist.
  • Reclaiming Women's Experience: To maximize benefits, understanding and addressing the real experiences faced by women parliamentarians are crucial.
  • Facing Opposition: Women politicians like Smriti Irani and Mahua Moitra highlight challenges, advocating for standing up against bullies and addressing character attacks.
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