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  • India creates quotas for women in politics


    by Sunny
    5th June, 2009 at 12:35 am    

    I forgot to mention the other day that India now has the first Indian woman Speaker of the House, as well as a President. Now, the government is introducing quotas:

    India’s new Congress-led coalition government is to press for a radical new law to reserve a third of the elected seats in parliament and in state legislatures for women.

    The government has also pledged to introduce a bill which will set aside half the seats in elected village councils and city municipalities for women. At present only a third of the seats in village councils are kept exclusively for women.

    Brilliant stuff. I am generally in favour of gender quotas when the ratio is too lopsided (in Parliament for example) anyway. Secondly, India has always had a problem with not enough women participating in government and public life. To simply pray that it should be a society run on merit is simply to be naive. So given the huge power-imbalance, these quotas are a good thing.


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    Filed in: Current affairs,India,Sex equality






    5 Comments below   |  

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    1. pickles

      New blog post: India creates quotas for women in politics http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4723


    2. Quota for women at Blogbharti

      [...] likes the idea of the reservations for women in parliament. Churumuri offers a nice picture of poison to Sharad Yadav. The blogger seems, like [...]




    1. munir — on 5th June, 2009 at 7:47 am  

      Incidentally Muslim Bangladesh is the only country in the world where both the leader and the leader of the opposition are women.

      Perhaps the US will follow in these countries’ path and one day be able to bring iteself to elect a female leader

    2. simon woolley — on 5th June, 2009 at 9:41 am  

      Much of the time, Sunny, I believe we’re on the same side but this shocking inconsistency needs some explanation, and not simply pared away because its gender.

      Why is the prescriptive form of positive discrimination-quotas- acceptable in India, and the permissive form proposed by OBV here in the UK –all Black shortlist- totally unacceptable?

    3. Sunny — on 5th June, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

      Why is the prescriptive form of positive discrimination-quotas- acceptable in India, and the permissive form proposed by OBV here in the UK –all Black shortlist- totally unacceptable?

      Hi Simon,

      I do think gender makes a difference. Women are 51% of the population so it’s easier to get them represented without letting in just any mediocre person.

      On the other hand, with minorities, you’re not only:
      1) Dealing with a much smaller pool, and thus its easy to get bad apples
      2) It’s easier to racialise politics than it is to sexualise it. In other words, I don’t want the stigma of ‘you only got here because you’re black’ hanging over people. It’s less difficult to play that card with women because they are 51% of the population.

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