Women in politics: India 98th in the world

India lags behind many countries when it comes to women`s participation in politics.

Updated: Mar 08, 2011, 13:51 PM IST

New Delhi: As the country celebrates the
International Women`s Day on Tuesday, statistics reveal that India
lags behind many countries, including its neighbours Pakistan
and Nepal, when it comes to women`s participation in politics.

With only 10.8 per cent of women representation in the
Lok Sabha and 10.3 per cent in the Rajya Sabha, India ranks 98
in the world, according to the data released by the
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international group that
works for promoting democracy, peace and co-operation in the

India, the world`s largest democracy, has now only 59
women representatives out of 545 members in Lok Sabha, while
there are 25 female MPs in the 242-member Rajya Sabha.

While India shares its position with Benin and Jordan, it
is ranked 47 places below Pakistan and 80 places behind

With 22.2 per cent women MPs in its Lower House and 17
per cent in the Upper House, Pakistan is placed 51 while Nepal
is ranked 18, with 33.3 per cent of female MPs in its
parliament, according to the IPU list released on January 31
this year.

Similarly, China and Bangladesh also have a much higher
representation of women in national politics compared to

While the Communist country is placed at 55 in the list,
with 21.3 per cent women representation, Bangladesh is ranked
65th, with 18.6 per cent female participation in national
politics, the data revealed.

Sri Lanka and Myanmar are the only neighbours which are
placed above 100 in the list.

Following its elections last April, Sri Lanka is ranked
122 with only 12 female members, or 5.3 per cent, in the
225-seat National Assembly.

Myanmar, which allowed General Elections last year after
decades of military rule, is raked 124 with only 14, or 4.3
per cent of female MPs in the 168-seat Parliament.

Among the countries with highest women participation in
national politics, Rwanda ranks number one in the world with
over 56 per cent women members in the Lower House and over 34
per cent in the Upper House.

With 157 women MPs or 45 per cent, in its national
legislature, Sweden ranks two in the list while South Africa
comes third with 44.5 per cent women MPs in its Lower House.

Cuba had fourth highest women representation (43.2 per
cent), followed by Iceland (42.9 per cent), Netherlands (40.7
per cent), Finland (40 per cent)and Norway with 39.6 per cent.

Mozambique and Angola are placed at position nine and 10
with over 38 per cent women participation in politics.

Countries like Germany, Italy, Britain, France and the
US are ranked 19th, 53rd, 62nd, 63rd and 72nd respectively.

There are 12 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and
Oman, which have zero women representation in their national
assemblies, the report reveals.