How does a society gain if more and more women are employed as decision makers?

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It has been rightly said by Swami Vivekananda that “There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing”. Every day we hear our political leaders 'preach' that “men and women are wheels of a car called society, carrying development, as passengers”. We understand the importance of women empowerment but when it comes to implementing it in reality, it's totally a different picture. We still have only 10.9% representation of women in our parliament (according to 2012 figures). This is not even 25%of total representation! If we compare this with other BRICS Nations such as China stands at 9.6% and Brazil at 9%. But this is not something we can boast about. We still rank 153 out of 190 nations in the percentage of women in lower house of world parliaments (According to list compiled by Inter-Parliamentary Union).

But the question remains what will happen if more women are employed as decision makers?

The answer to this question is manifold and has multiple aspects to it.

First aspect will be political aspect, studies have shown that women, when in position of power, leads to higher backroom discussions rather than direct confrontations in the house. Another aspect will be the more the women in parliament the more attention will be paid to gender issues, family and social policy.

Second aspect will be economic one, Sania Bhalotra, Professor of Economics, University of Essex states that in a study in which she examined nearly 4000 assembly constituencies in India she found that

(i) women politicians increased economic growth of their constituency by about 1.5% points per year which is higher than their male counterparts.

(ii)women politicians are less likely to indulge in corrupt practices than men.

(iii)women are more likely to oversee completion of infrastructure projects in their constituencies such as laying of road, irrigation projects, etc.

Third aspect will be psychological and social aspect, it has been proved by many studies that people tend to get influenced by strong leaders and try to imitate them. Thus, more women Parliamentarians will motivate other female students and party workers to strive for the same position as the Parliamentarian, slowly due to chain reaction more women will enter into more prominent fields and total contribution of women in nation’s workforce will increase and eventually the society will get more prosperous and developed.

Every nation in the world is aware of the significance of higher number of women Parliamentarians for the society as a whole, but still very few efforts have been made to achieve this, some of these include quotas for women, reservation of seats for women (73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act reserved 1/3rd of total seats in local body elections for women candidates), these are some of the efforts made by the State to achieve the goal. But I feel that most important action by the State will be increase awareness among masses of the benefits of more women politicians for the society as a whole. Schooling of students should be in this manner that they understand the importance of women in politics. Special events such as “Youth Parliaments” should be organized for women so that they can experience what it’s like to be a Parliamentarian which will also increase their interest in politics and thus they can enter into politics and achieve the goal of more women in decision making position, which will help us in getting more Indira Gandhis, more Margaret Thatchers and many more who will develop us, the society, as a whole.

-Ayush Kokate