[Essay] Analyzing the missing Women from Electoral System in India

While the political uncertainty over the proposed women reservation bill continues a study which was undertaken by an expert group under MUDIT KAPOOR AND SHAMIKA RAVI reveals the shocking stage of Indian women.  As per their report what in India is half a century ago is still continue here. The study group came out with report on the missing women from Indian electorate
system. More than 65 million women are missing. So the policy building in India is purely based on a male dominated and patriarchal system completely avoiding the gender equality symbols.



Women Sex Ratio

The term missing women was originally coined by Amartya Sen. Before many years he showed that more than 100 million women are missing in developing countries due to the gender discrimination mainly in India and China. The main reasons which he analyzed were the boy preference and the mistreatment of young girls. As per the new study the trend is still continuing without showing any index of change and progress.

Three shocking facts

The study report clearly analyzed all the states and the state of missing women from electoral system. In the next step they analyzed the best sex ratio states like Kerala as a reference of the number of missing women. Three shocking facts were found.

1-      The number of missing women in electoral registration increased fourfold, that is from 15 million to 68 million i.e. from 13 percent to 20 percent.
2-      Adverse sex ration dint changed significantly over the last 50 years in many of the states. This under represent the female population in political policy decisions.
3-      With the exception from Andhra and Kerala the sex ratio is worse than general sex ration in the population. This means all eligible women voters are not registered in electoral roll.

Consequences

If considerable portion of women were missing from electoral politics in will sure perpetuate the gender based policies in India. How a male dominated system can creatively give effects in favor of women. Clearly it shows the failure of democracy. That is what repeatedly showing in the results of GII-gender inequality index of World Bank. (Which measures health and labor participation of women with all around development of women)? Human development report is also a key index towards this problem. India ranks 138th in this far below Sudan, Iraq and neighboring countries.

Can reservation solve this problem?

Reservation can’t solve the fundamental issue of this problem. But it can do its best. Rightly it is based on the nature of reservation policy. There are two ways towards reservation
.
1-      Reserve the seats on quick rotation basis. It is short term policy and can’t yield the exact objective of the policy.
2-      Propose reservation based on gender ration in the constituency i.e. reserve the seats for women where the neglect of women is high. It would be a compensatory approach towards the gender issue.

Anyway, there is an urgent need to quickly divert our attention towards delivering gender justified policies and reduce the adverse gender ration recognizing it as a human right problem.


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