The HinduWomen release baloons at the International Women's Day celebrations in Coimbatore on Tuesday. Photo; K. Ananthan
As the country celebrates the International Women’s Day on Tuesday, statistics reveal that India lags behind many countries, including its neighbours Pakistan and Nepal, when it comes to women’s participation in politics.
With only 10.8 per cent of women representation in the Lok Sabha and 10.3 per cent in the Rajya Sabha, India ranks 98 in the world, according to the data released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international group that works for promoting democracy, peace and co-operation in the world.
India, the world’s largest democracy, has now only 59 women representatives out of 545 members in Lok Sabha, while there are 25 female MPs in the 242-member Rajya Sabha.
While India shares its position with Benin and Jordan, it is ranked 47 places below Pakistan and 80 places behind Nepal.
With 22.2 per cent women MPs in its Lower House and 17 per cent in the Upper House, Pakistan is placed 51 while Nepal is ranked 18, with 33.3 per cent of female MPs in its parliament, according to the IPU list released on January 31 this year.
Similarly China and Bangladesh also have a much higher representation of women in national politics compared to India.
While the communist country is placed at 55 in the list, with 21.3 per cent women representation, Bangladesh is ranked 65th, with 18.6 per cent female participation in national politics, the data revealed.
Sri Lanka and Myanmar are the only neighbours which are placed above 100 in the list.
Following its elections last April, Sri Lanka is ranked 122 with only 12 female members, or 5.3 per cent, in the 225—seat National Assembly.
Myanmar, which allowed general elections last year after decades of military rule, is raked 124 with only 14, or 4.3 per cent of female MPs in the 168-seat parliament.
Among the countries with highest women participation in national politics, Rwanda ranks number one in the world with over 56 per cent women members in the Lower House and over 34 per cent in the Upper House.
With 157 women MPs or 45 per cent, in its national legislature, Sweden ranks two in the list while South Africa comes third with 44.5 per cent women MPs in its Lower House.
Cuba had fourth highest women representation (43.2 per cent), followed by Iceland (42.9 per cent), Netherlands (40.7 per cent), Finland (40 per cent) and Norway with 39.6 per cent.
Mozambique and Angola are placed at position nine and ten with over 38 per cent women participation in politics.
Countries like Germany, Italy, Britain, France and the US are ranked 19th, 53rd, 62nd, 63rd and 72nd respectively.
There are 12 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, which have zero women representation in their national assemblies, the report reveals.
International Women's Day: 10 things you need to know about the global celebration
1. While International Women's Day is now largely aimed at inspiring women across the world and celebrating their achievements, its roots are in movements campaigning for better pay and voting rights.
2. The first National Women’s Day was marked on 28 February 1909 in the United States after a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.
3. During an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen the following year, Clara Zetkin, leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women's Day.
She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day. The idea was met with unanimous approval.
4. 1911 saw IWD honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. Over a million people attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
5. On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1965, it was declared as a non working day in the USSR.
6. International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March that same year and has remained the global date for the event ever since.
7. In 1975, the United Nations gave official sanction to International Women's Day and began sponsoring it.
8. The United States now designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.
9. IWD is also an official holiday in 15 countries including China, Ukraine and Vietnam.
10. Over the past few years Google have marked the occasion with a “Google Doodle”, changing their logo on the search engine’s homepage to reflect the occasion.
As per decision taken at our AIIEA Diamond Jubilee Year conference heldat New Delhi, Campaign among Public on the Achievements of L.I.C have been taken up by our Divisional unit from 18th Feb 2011 to 2ndMarch 2011.
From our Division 88000 Pamphlets were distributed amongst Publicbydoor to door. It means we have reached 88000 families in our Divisionand created awarenessamong Public to defend L.I.C in Public Sector.
More than 250 comradesincluding98 womenparticipatedin the campaign.Three street corner meetings were conducted at Ponneri,Tiruvallurand Ambattur. Members of L.I.C.Agents organization and leaders ofFraternalTrade Unionsattendedandaddressedin the Meetings at all Places.
On concluding day ie 2ndMarch 2011 we have organized a Public Meetingat Purasawalkam , was a memorable dayfor our T.U Movement in our Division. About94comrades participated in the Public Meeting apart from general public who listened the speeches with involvement. Specialaddresses by Com.S.Chellapa. Gen Sec ( BSNLEU) and Com.K.Swaminathan.Gen Secy( SZIEF) attracted Public attention.
Our sincere Thanks to SZIEFfor their Excellent co-operation and Guidance.
OURCAMPAIGN WAS AGRAND“ SCCESS. ”
WITHOUT“ U ”ITCANNOTBEACHIEVED.
Our Heartiest Congratulations to Branch Unit Office Bearers andall comrades who took part in the campaign.