Current Affairs

Global Women’s political Participation

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Why in News?

Charting women's trajectory in parliaments globally.

Historical Context:

Women's political participation improved in the latter 20th century, marked by progress in securing voting rights and parliamentary seats, but women remain underrepresented in top political leadership positions.


1. Universal Right to Vote:

(a) New Zealand granted universal suffrage to women in 1893, pioneering gender equality in voting rights.

(b) By World War II, men had voting rights in a higher proportion of countries compared to women, but the gap rapidly closed afterward.

2. Gender Gap in Chief-executive Roles:

(a) V-Dem Project Data: Most political chief executives globally have been men, with limited increases in female leadership over the past three decades.

(b) Persistent Disparity: Women remain underrepresented in top political leadership positions.

Global Scenario for Women's Parliamentarian Share:

1.Rwanda's Milestone: Rwanda achieved over 50% women's representation in parliament in 2008, setting a precedent for gender equality.

2.Other Countries' Progress: Several nations saw significant proportions of women parliamentarians in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

3.Recent Trends (Since 2022): Despite progress, women's political representation remains low and inconsistent globally, with extreme gender disparities in some countries.

Significant Steps Taken:

1.Gender Quota Legislation in India: Approval of a landmark bill reserving 33% of parliament seats for women.

2.Political Will: Some political parties are actively nominating more women for assembly and parliament elections.

3.Empowerment Through Representation: Increasing women's representation in political parties is crucial for enhancing political participation.


Despite progress, women's political representation globally remains low. Quotas, combating violence, media reform, and supporting women's caucuses are essential for fostering inclusive democracy and enhancing female participation in parliaments.

Global Women’s political Participation (UPSC)