Role of Women in Local Governance

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” — Michelle Obama

Women play a very vital role in human progress and have a significant place in the society. Some think women are inferior to men but they are not. They are capable of sharing all the responsibilities of life. The main responsibility of a woman is to preserve the human race. Some think woman’sposition as a mother is unique. The progress of the nation depends upon the way the mothers bring up their children. If mothers are educated, the whole society will progress. Women have always played an important role in the progress of a nation. Women had been great saints, scholars, poets, writers, reformers and administrators. Women should be given proper education, training and power. Women can do much to reform society. They are serving as teachers, doctors, engineers, administrators and even heads of state. The need is to increase this ratio. More participation among the women means  more progress of the society and is a measure of equality.

According to a UN Report ‘The World’s Women 2015’, approximately only a quarter of positions in national governments are held by women. In Canada’s Parliament today, only 26% of the House of Commons is female. This just proves the under representation of women in our policy making. The ideal of equal participation in decision-making is that all human beings have the right to participate in decisions that affect their life. Issues in terms of healthcare, labour, business, industry, education, childcare, and training affect each gender differently. For example, having men make policy on reproductive rights for females, while not understanding a woman’s anatomy and women’s issues, is completely absurd. Since women know their issues best, it’s important that they have an equal say to be effectively incorporated into all levels of decision-making. Furthermore, based on the same report, women across all sectors and occupations still earn less than men in most countries.

“It is not about men against women, but there is evidence to show through research that when you have more women in public decision-making, you get policies that benefit women, children and families in general,” Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, told IPS.

“So women tend, when they’re in parliament, for example, to promote women’s rights legislation. When women are in sufficient numbers in parliaments they also promote children’s rights and they tend to speak up more for the interests of communities, local communities, because of their close involvement in community life,” she added.

 

Female bureaucrats or leaders are more sensitive and caring towards the critical issues related to different age groups and gender as nourishment of family are inbuilt in females. Majorly they are not biased towards any category while making a decision and are overall thinkers of the society with more practical approaches. BhagyashriDengle, executive director, Plan India, said, “This study reveals the dismal state of feminine hygiene care in India and shows rampant unhygienic sanitary practices. In comparison, 100% women in Singapore and Japan, 88% in Indonesia and 64% in China use SNs.” In India according to the survey conducted in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Gorakhpur, Aurangabad and Vijayawada, around 31% women reported a drop in productivity levels during their periods, missing 2.2 days of work on an average. Menstrual hygiene is lowest in eastern India with 83% women saying their families can’t afford sanitary napkins. Such type of issues can be better addressed by the women leaders.

We need to start encouraging women and getting them into leadership roles in local governance for the commitment to gender parity and an inclusive culture that will ensure that women get the role they deserve. Let’s ensure that fifty percent of humanity receives the place that it deserves.

 

 

 

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