IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 24th Sep 2020
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
EDITORIAL HUNT #154 :“Women in Leadership Roles | UPSC“
Bhaskar Dutta is Professor, Ashoka University.
Weighing in on the efficacy of female leadership
It is necessary to get rid of inherent biases and perceptions about the effectiveness of women in roles of authority
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Issues related to Women and Society : Women Empowerment
There is substantial evidence showing that increased female representation in policy making goes a long way. Substantiate -(GS 1)
- Why Germany , New Zealand have won half battle ?
- Indian perspective of women in Politics.
- Quota for Women candidates
- BETTER MANAGEMENT : The three countries seem to have managed the pandemic much better than their neighbours.
- STEREOTYPES : All female leaders are not necessarily efficient, and there are many men who have proved to be charismatic leaders.
- CHANGING PERCEPTIONS : The important takeaway from the recent experience is the necessity of getting rid of inherent biases about female effectiveness in leadership roles.
INDIA’S GRAM PANCHAYATS
- FEMININE APPROACH : In particular, they perform significantly better than men in implementing policies that promote the interests of women.
- GENDER EQUALITY : In addition to the instrumental importance of promoting more space for women in public policy, gender equality is a sustainable practise too.
- UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE : Women were allowed to vote from 1950 onwards and so could participate on an equal footing with men from the first general election of 1951-52.
- MATURE DEMOCRACIES : In the U.S., it took several decades of struggle before women were allowed to vote in 1920.
- GENDER STEREOTYPING : Interestingly, a glaring example of gender stereotyping was the labelling of Indira Gandhi as the “only man in the cabinet”.
- GENDER COMPOSITION : The female representation at the Centre is probably not very far from the typical gender composition in State governments.
- UNDERREPRESENTATION : The underrepresentation of female Ministers in India is also reflected in the fact that Ms. Banerjee is currently the only female Chief Minister.
- MARGINALISED : The underrepresentation of women in Indian legislatures is even more striking.
- This gives us the dismal rank of 143 out of 192 countries for which data are reported by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
THE WOMEN’S BILL LANGUISHES
- LEVEL PLAYING FIELD : Since women running for elections face numerous challenges, it is essential to create a level-playing field through appropriate legal measures.
- RESERVATION BILL : Attempts have also been made to extend quotas for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies through a Women’s Reservation Bill.
- UNRESOLVED IDEA : The fate of this Bill represents a blot on the functioning of the Indian Parliament.
- CRITICISM : Male members from several parties opposed the Bill on various pretexts.
- PROGRESS : Subsequently, Governments have reintroduced the Bill in successive Parliaments, but without any success.
STEPS TO REDUCING PREJUDICE
- BOLD STEPS : The major party constituents can sidestep the logjam in Parliament by reserving say a third of party nominations for women.
- INCREASING CABINET SHARE : This will surely result in increasing numbers of women in legislatures and subsequently in cabinets.
Indeed, voter perceptions about the efficacy of female leadership may change so drastically in the long run that quotas may no longer be necessary!
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Women in Leadership Roles | UPSC