Only two political parties in India have given women their due representation

Women participation in Indian elections has been increasing gradually over the past few years.

Giving a boost to women participation in the parliament, two regional parties in India — Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Odisha and Trinamool Congress (TMC) of West Bengal — have each reserved over one-third of the seats in the upper house of the parliament for women.

While Biju Janata Dal (BJD) announced a 33% reservation for women in parliament, Trinamool Congress (TMC) surpassed BJD, claiming to allocate 41% Lok Sabha tickets to women, ahead of India’s general elections.

In contrast to this, Bharatiya Janata Party only has 23 women candidates of the total 184 members, according to a recent analysis by Gilles Verniers, who is a politics professor at Ashoka University. While Congress has merely 17 women candidates in total of 143 members.

At present, of the 42 MPs in West Bengal, 13 are women. While Odisha has three women MPs in Lok Sabha.

The move comes a decade after Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008 was introduced in Rajya Sabha, which would have set aside a quota for women. However, it failed in Lok Sabha back then

Given that the bill has not been passed in the parliament, the representation of women in Parliament may also woo women voters in the country. Talking of the reservation bill, Mamta Banerjee, Trinamool Congress Chief reportedly said that the move is “a challenge to all political parties in India.”

Last week, Indian National Congress (INC), in its manifesto, announced that it will pass the Women’s reservation bill in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, which will allow the reservation of one-third of seats in the parliament and state Assemblies for women.

The proportion of ministerial posts held by women in India is significantly low. Presently, India has 64 women leaders in 545 Member of Parliament, which is 12% of the total count, as per the data by World Economic Forum (WEF).

See also:
Women in Politics: Odisha’s BJD says it will grant a third of Lok Sabha tickets to women

India has a new 'all women' political party aimed at bridging the gender gap in its Parliament
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