Even as the debate over a proposed legislation to provide mandatory political representation to women in India remained inconclusive on Monday—International Women’s Day—a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows political empowerment to be one of the means to manage gender equality.
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The report titled, ‘Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific’, makes the case that gender equality makes for good economics.
According to it, in every country across Asia and the Pacific, pervasive gender inequality remains a barrier to progress and hence deprives the region of a significant source of human potential.
The report paints a grim picture of the existing gender status for the Asia-Pacific in general and South Asia in particular. According to it, the time has come to push for positive change by focusing on institutions in three arenaseconomics, politics and the law.
It then goes on to set an agenda for action, which includes making education gender neutral and boosting political participation, if necessary, through mandatory quotas.
Graphics by Yogesh Kumar/Mint