More Women In Local Governments Help Reduce Gender Bias, Shows UN Report

The representation of women in the local government has increased from 5 per cent in 1993 to 40 per cent in 2005.

New Delhi: Reservation for women in the Panchayati Raj institutions has helped reduce gender discrimination, said a United Nations report on Tuesday.

According to the report, the representation of women in the local government has increased from 5 per cent in 1993 to 40 per cent in 2005, exceeding the mandated quota of 33 per cent.

The United Nations report – ‘Leave no one behind: A call to action for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment’, said that worldwide, there are more than 110 countries that have some type of quota for women in the parliaments and 11 countries have quotas to increase the gender balance of the government agencies.

The report, that was released by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, pitched for the significance of women quota, since the issue of women reservation in the Parliament has been pending for long.

Ms Sitharaman said that a host of initiatives have been taken by the government to empower women. ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Mudra and Stand-Up India are among those.

She said that sustainability is the biggest challenge for the initiatives that are taken up by the government.

When the momentum is built, the programme moves fast but gradually and quietly drops, she added.

Ms Sitharaman further said that security is the pre-requisite for economic empowerment.
and tough laws are needed for conviction.

The report also stated that “legal constraints on women’s mobility can also stunt their ability to start and run businesses” .

Meanwhile, a UN statement said that the recommendations of the report are consistent with and can strengthen the efforts of the government of India, businesses and civil society to
ensure sustainable job creation.

(With Inputs From PTI)