Even as individuals and organizations trumpet their committment to ending gender disparity and their solidarity with movements like Time's Up! and #MeToo, the cacaphony surrounding them, from street protests to viral social media threads, usually peters out after the months of October and January, the months of their inception.
In the corridors of power, from presidential palaces to parliament buildings, women are totally overshadowedc by men, and account for less than 7% of the world’s leaders and only 24% of lawmakers, according to the latest statistics.
UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa told delegates at the Commission on the Status of Women that there has been a “serious regression” in the political power of women across the world.
The percentage of female elected heads of state dropped from 7.2% to 6.6 — 10 out of the 153 leaders considered — between 2017 to 2018. The percentage of female heads of government dropped from 5.7% to 5.2% — 10 out of 193 — in the same period.
In parliaments, things were marginally better, and the global share of women legislators increased by nearly one percentage point from 2017 to 2018, to 24.3%. Indicidentally, it took 25 years to get to that figure, up from 11% in 1995.
As India gears up for its 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced that if his party came to power, it would pass a bill reserving 33% of seats for women in Parliament as well as state legislatures. Gandhi also said that 33% central government posts will also be reserved for women.
Similarly, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is fielding a remarkable 41 per cent women candidates on her party's nominee list. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had also announced a 33% reservation for women by his party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), in allocation of Lok Sabha seats.
Current women world leaders include New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, British PM Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, among others.
(With AP inputs)