Under-representation of women in political life and decision making has lead to a “democratic deficit” in India. The discrimination women face hinders them from realising their potential and excludes them from benefiting equally from development process. Processes of governance must be inclusive and participatory so that all citizens, men and women, have the opportunity to influence institutions and policies that affect their lives.
Without gender parity in governance, women's equity and equality cannot be achieved. Currently, in Parliament there are 58 (10.7%) women legislators out of 543 Legislators in the Lok Sabha and 23 (9.5%) out of a total of 243 in the Rajya Sabha. A recent World Bank Development Report titled 'Gender Equality and Development' emphasized the importance of political and economic empowerment of women as a contribution to sustainable growth and responsible government.
Oxfam India ProgrammeThis programme aims to see an increased and effective representation of women in decision-making forums and in governance institutions. Oxfam India enhances the capacity of women to actively participate in the political sphere, contest elections, reduce or remove barriers and introduce affirmative steps, such as quotas, to enhance women’s participation in state and government institutions.
- Enactment and effective implementation of Women's Reservation Bill.
- Form National and state level alliances to support women’s leadership.
- Ensure State accountability for women's rights.
- Promote women's leadership in government institutions such as Panchayats, Municipalities and Legislatures.