#9 WOMEN IN POLITICS, CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, 2021, with 21 matter series

It’s time for her- the need for more women at the political table.

A topic like this (women in politics) requires views than statistics. A few years back I have heard a TED talk about- ” why we have too few women leaders?”. It came to my mind when I heard Meghan Markle talking at UN Women few years back.

I started my research work, listening to some more TED talks, I look what I found.

I heard a TEDx Trinity College Dublin, by Martina Fitzgerald, where she was talking over a question, a radio presenter asked her, that –

‘do you think that more women are progressing in politics without sufficient knowledge and experience, hinting that women are there only because of their gender’?

Unhesitant Martina counter questioned him in the reply-” have you ever asked that of a man.”

I think if I would have been at Martina’s place, I would have done the same, undoubtedly.

In 1916, the American essayist Agnes Repplier wrote that

“democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements.”

For advocates of gender equality, this tension feels familiar.

THE CHANGE- wave of democratization.

LEAD BY WOMEN
Women around the world have made major political strides at unprecedented rates:

✨ Running political offices
✨Winning elections

LEAD BY STATES
Countries have adopted:

✨Gender quota
(establishing a de facto ceiling on women’s representation that has proven difficult to breakthrough)
✨Modifying social norms
(eg. Americans of both political stripes prefer gender-balanced decision-making bodies.)

THE STAGNATION- inflicts hardships

Women’s increased presence in political institutions has not necessarily led to meaningful change, as in:

⚡Fundamental problems in women’s everyday lives
(financial hurdles and unequal caregiving burdens to gender stereotypes and violence)

⚡Women’s continued underrepresentation
(as in suggestions that female candidates lack confidence, skills, or networks)

WHAT DOES GENDER EQUAL DEMOCRACY TAKE?

⚡Transforming institutions that have been built on exclusion.

⚡Tackling the entrenched barriers that discourage women from engaging in electoral politics and make it harder for them to succeed.

⚡Viewing the political participation of marginalized groups not as a desirable add-on but as a central benchmark of democratic health.

WHAT WOULD SHIFT LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE?

I. HIGHLIGHT MEN’S POLITICAL OVERREPRESENTATION

It would redirect attention from women’s underrepresentation to the processes and networks that perpetuate men’s political misrepresentation.

II. BRIDGE BETWEEN POLITICAL and SOCIO-ECONOMIC POWER

Policymakers would pay greater attention to the links between political and socio-economic power.

Initiatives promoting women’s economic empowerment that sidesteps women’s rights and political mobilization are unlikely to bring about much-needed systemic change.

III. HAVE BACK OF THE WOMEN MOVEMENTS

Women’s movements would receive much more significant and sustained support.

Over the past few years, women have been at the forefront of political change around the world:

✨From protesting discriminatory citizenship laws in India
✨To rallying against gender-based violence in Mexico and Chile.

Now it’s time for politics to make some changes for women.

CHANGE IS NEVER BEEN EASY, and EVEN INEVITABLE.

IT’S TIME FOR US TO STAND AS AN INDIVIDUAL- FOR OURSELVES, FOR THE ONE WE SHARE OUR WORKSPACE WITH AND FOR OUR DAUGHTERS (UPCOMING GENERATION).

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