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Women Representation in Parliament: India Ranks 149th
Updated 27 Feb 2018

Despite being the home to the second largest female population in the world, there is a dearth of female Parliamentarians in our country.  According to the findings of Inter-Parliamentary Union updated in September 2017, India ranks 149th in a list of 193 countries in terms of women’s representation in the lower and upper/single house(s) of the Parliament.

It means in India the participation of women in mainstream politics is restricted to just 11.8 per cent, whereas its average percentage globally stands at about 22%. The figures reveal the poor state of affairs when it comes to women in Indian politics.

Out of 781 Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the number of females is just 92 (11.8%).
Afghanistan stands at 55th rank.

Out of 781 Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the number of females is just 92 (11.8%). In the Lok Sabha/Lower house, their count is 64 out of 542 (11.8%) and 28 out of 239 in Rajya Sabha/Upper House (11.7%). Rwanda, the smallest country of African mainland tops the chart with 55.66 % i.e. 59 out of total 106 Parliamentarians being female. The Lower House of the country has 49 females out of 80 representatives (61.3 %), and the Upper House constitutes of 10 females out of the total strength of 26 (38.4%).

Ironically, some of our neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan are much ahead in the race.

All these Muslim countries, where women rights are neglected and severe restrictions are posed on them, are beating India with considerable margin.

Pakistan holds 92nd position with 20.04 % women lawmakers – 70 out of 340 (20.6%) in Lower House and 19 out of 104 (18.3%) in Upper House.

Afghanistan stands at 55th rank. Its Parliament comprises of 27.44 % women (87 out of 317); 69 out of 249 (27.7%) in Lower House and 18 out of 68 (26.5%) in Upper House.

Bangladesh is at 94th position with 71 out of 350 (20.3%) members of their unicameral Parliament being women.

Other countries like Burundi, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Fiji and Ghana rank much higher than India in the list.

The fact cannot be neglected that participation of women in lawmaking has doubled since the time of independence. The first Lok Sabha in 1951 had 22 (5%) women MPs, whereas the current Lok Sabha (16th) has the highest number of female Parliamentarians - 64 (11.8%).

However, these figures have not reached to a satisfactory mark. India was one of the first democratic nations to grant women the right to vote, still their representation in the legislative spaces and contribution towards formation of the laws is restricted to a meagre.



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