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India 111th among nations with women MPs

world Updated: Mar 09, 2014 02:02 IST
women representatives

India is placed at the 111th position out of 189 countries in a list prepared by an international organisation that ranks nations on the number of women representatives in Parliament.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organisation of Parliaments, said in its annual analysis that more women than ever before are being elected to Parliaments around the world, with gender parity likely achievable in less than a generation if the current trend continues.

The IPU, which works closely with the United Nations, ranks countries on the number of women members in Parliament.

India ranked 111th with 62 women Parliamentarians sitting in its Lower House, a small 11.4% of the total 545 MPs. The Upper house of 245 MPs has 28 women Parliamentarians, a 11.4% of the total. The annual analysis of statistics and trends, released on Friday ahead of International Women’s Day, said there was a 1.5% increase globally in Parliaments as a result of elections that took place in 2013.

“That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you consider that we are now at almost 22% of women in Parliaments, if we were to continue with this rate of increase of 1.5 it means that within a generation, actually within 20 years, we should be able to reach globally gender parity in Parliament,” IPU secretary-general Anders Johnsson said.

“That is something we never imagined. Rwanda led the list of 189 countries surveyed, with its lower house recording more than 60% women,” Johnsson said.

The report said several factors influenced the degree of women’s access to parliament, with quotas being one of the main tools to facilitate women’s access.

“Quotas must be ambitious, detailed and be implemented to have impact,” IPU said. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka lauded the “record-breaking” increase by the gains made by women in political life around the world and vowed that the organisation will keep fighting gender-based bias.