If we look at the percentage of seats in parliament being occupied by women in different countries, India comes in 143rd out of 192 countries. Only 12% of the seats in the Indian parliament are occupied by women. This is much worse than even Saudi Arabia, which has 20% women in its parliament, owing to a reservation of 20% for women in legislation. India also lags behind Pakistan (21% of the parliamentary members are women) and Bangladesh (20% of the parliamentary members are women).
Women in Parliament
A World Bank dataset shows where women in different countries all over the world stand in terms of their participation in institutions of power. It has different data points, such as the percentage of seats in parliaments of different countries occupied by women, the percentage of firms having women as at least one of the primary owners, the percentage of women possessing an account at a financial institution, employment of women, etc.
The figures for the percentage of firms having women as one of the primary owners also show India in a poor light. Data for 119 countries are available, out of which India comes in at number 113. Only 10.7% of firms in India have women as one of the primary owners, putting the country behind Bangladesh and Pakistan again. It should be noted, however, that the dataset lacks numbers from some developed, first world countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, etc.
India comes in somewhere in the middle when we look at the percentage of women above the age of 15 having an account in a financial institution such as a bank. India is ranked 73 out of 142 countries, with 42.6% of women possessing accounts.
Women having accounts in financial institutions
The constitutions of 108 countries all over the world mention gender in their non-discrimination clause. India is amongst this group. 20 countries do not mention gender, and 56 countries do not have a nondiscrimination clause. How much of the nondiscrimination provision in the constitution translates to everyday life in our country is reflected in the above statistics.
The Left parties of the country have since long been demanding a 33% reservation of seats in parliament for women. The BJP in its electoral campaigns promised to act on this demand. Congress, too, had agreed to it. But both the BJP with its three years of majority in the parliament, and Congress in all its years of power, failed to pass any provision which would guarantee women representation in the parliament.
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