Only four countries have 50% or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda – 61%, Cuba with 53%, Bolivia with 53%, and the United Arab Emirates with 50%.
Girls and women face challenges in having a voice on issues which affect their lives throughout their lives.
India ranks 148th in a list of 193 countries based on the percentage of elected women representatives in their national parliaments (Al Jazeera, 2021). There have been many attempts to introduce a bill to secure 33% of parliamentarians being women (Al Jazeera, 2021). This is known as the Women’s Reservation Bill. Women make up 27 out of 241 members of the Upper Chamber. Female leaders at local levels have been shown to empower women’s rights and social issues such as drinking water availability and increased reporting on crime (East Asia Forum, 2022).
Discriminatory gender norms – women globally are not seen to be leaders; women experience discrimination when they take on leadership roles for acting against patriarchal gender norms.
Women – https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/leadership-and-political-participation/facts-and-figures#:~:text=Women%20in%20national%20parliaments&text=Only%20four%20countries%20have%2050,50%20per%20cent%20%5B8%5D.
EquiDiversity Foundation is working to strengthen women leaders in panchayats and remove the dominance of men who tend to try to rule for them.
Equidiversity Foundation is committed to creating an environment that promotes gender equality through political, social and financial empowerment with active informed participation of individuals, the community and the state. They mobilise community women, elected women representatives and young people, to work on development and gender equality issues, alongside raising awareness at the individual, community and state levels around governance, gender equality, individual rights and entitlements, addressing gender-based violence and discrimination. They also build capacity at all levels for active participation in political processes, gender responsive budgeting, community development, fighting gender injustices and inequalities, social awareness and support women to develop life, livelihoods and leadership skills.
Strengthening Women’s Leadership and Participation in Rural Local Governance – Birbhum district, West Bengal
Over 2021 Action Village India started its support for the Strengthening Women’s Leadership and Participation in Rural Local Governance, which began in January 2018. The project takes a holistic approach to supporting women elected representatives to effectively perform their ‘democratic duties’ alongside empowering women in each Panchayat, through the formation of a Nagi Jagaran Committee (NJC) (Community Watch Committee) which offer a platform for women to find solidarity, implement gender-based violence prevention strategies and support survivors of violence and act as a bridge between women voters and local government. Women create development plans and take these to the Panchayat and push for their priorities to be addressed in the Panchayat’s annual development plan and budget.EquiDiversity Foundation Strengthening Women’s Leadership and Participation in Rural Local Governance