Can political affirmative action for women reduce gender bias?
Esther Duflo, Petia Topalova, Raghab Chattopadhyay, Rohini Pande, Lori Beaman 08 January 2009
Reservation policies, by giving voters the ability to observe the effectiveness of women leaders, might pave the way for improving women’s access to political office and reducing statistical discrimination. This column summarises India’s experience with quotas for women in public office.
While women have the legal right to equal participation in politics in almost every country around the world, they remain vastly underrepresented in local and national politics. As of July 2006, women accounted for only 17% of parliamentarians worldwide, and a woman headed the government in only seven countries (UNICEF, 2007). These numbers vary dramatically by region. In 2004, the highest share of female parliamentarians was found in the Nordic countries (39.7%), while the lowest was in the Arab States (6%).1
Politics and economics
India, gender bias, women leaders, sexual discrimination