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Women in politics: India way behind Pak, ranks 98!

Last updated on: March 8, 2011 14:49 IST

Women in politics: India way behind Pak, ranks 98!

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As the country celebrates 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 representation of women in Lok Sabha at only 11 per cent and 10.7 per cent in the Rajya Sabha, India ranks 98 in the world, according to the data released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international group that works for promoting democracy, peace and co-operation in the world.

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Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with President Pratibha Patil
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Ranked 57, Pakistan is 47 places ahead of India

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India, the world's largest democracy, has now only 60 women representatives out of 544 members in the Lok Sabha, while there are 26 women 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 at 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.

Image: Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sherry Rehman talks to media about former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto
Photographs: Reuters
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B'desh ranked 65th with 18.6 pc women leaders in politics

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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 who are placed above 100 in the list. Following its elections last April, Sri Lanka is ranked at 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 ranked at 124 with only 14, or 4.3 per cent of female MPs in its 168-seat parliament.

Image: Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: /B Mathur/Reuters
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Rwanda on top of the list

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Among the countries with the highest women participation in national politics, Rwanda ranks at 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 the 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.

Image: Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda and Cherie Blair, wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair visit the Rwanda Women Exhibition
Photographs: Reuters
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Germany appears 19th on the list, the US 72nd

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Countries like Germany, Italy, Britain, France and the United States 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.


Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Photographs: Mukhtar Kholdorbekov/Reuters
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