Impact of Women's Representation in Indian Politics
19 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 27, 2014
‘If women are to have any say in the lives they lead, they must enter politics.’ Fernanda Nissen (1862-1920) of Norway, one of the earliest feminist politicians, had stated thus. Such a statement is no more disputed. Women’s representation in politics has its impact on every realm of the social life – leadership, administration, social status, economic empowerment, literacy and education, and health and hygiene. Whether impact is visible and substantial is the issue. However, before going into details, it is important to understand the strands of politics.Informal micro-politics that involves sectional organizations, movements and processes; formal macro-politics that is mostly party politics and representation in decision-making bodies; public administration, which is governance and partly political governance; and participation in semi-judicial administrative bodies are the four major areas of political and administrative processes prevailing in India. Political participation is still broader, involving people’s participation in the selection and election processes. Participation in public administration is also political participation in a broader sense, as it is part of the political system of any nation. Public administration is governance, linked to executive, legislative and judicial wings of government, and related to quasi or semi governmental, autonomous, or non-governmental institutions. The role of women in public administration and governance is also a parameter to measure the impact of women’s representation in politics. Women’s equal participation in the decision-making process, policy-making, planning and administration is very significant to ensure women’s equality as well as their equal participation in the developmental process. As membership in legislative (nominated or elected) bodies drastically affects power relationships, and as these members are allotted development funds (such as MLA fund or MP fund) in India, women’s participation and leadership in these deliberative bodies are very significant.
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