Why Asian Women Lag Behind in Political Power?
In the last half a century, Asian economy witnessed a great surge by rising 31 percent in 2015 from 12 percent of global GDP in 1960s. Among all of the developing nations, East Asia witnessed a huge reduction (40 percent) in the Human Development Index gap from 1990-2014. The growth in economy has given access to Asian women in order to gain education, better health and income.
However, despite these gains, Asian women continue to lag behind in the political sphere. As per the records, Asian women’s parliamentary growth is slower than in any other region globally, with an increment of just 5.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 1995 to 18.5 percent in 2015. On the other hand, American women moved from 12.7 percent to 26.4 percent, showing a 13.7 percent of improvement; Sub-Saharan Africa showed a growth of 12.5 percent from 9.8 percent to 22.3 percent and Gulf States made an improvement of 11.8 percent from 4.3 percent to 16.1 percent.
An important point to be noted is that there are quite a few Muslim countries, which although have gender quotas, but continue to boost more male members in parliament. Countries falling under the categories include Kyrgyz (19.2 percent), Uzbekistan (16 percent), Indonesia (17.1 percent) and Jordan (15.4 percent).
The growth of women’s parliamentary representation is based on a combination of various socio-political variables, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, electoral system types, gender quotas, the share of Muslims in the population, the female-male ratio in the workforce, the degree of democracy, and perceptions of corruption.
Material wealth of a country does not indicate the women’s political representation. Whether the growth of high or low growth of women’s representation in parliament is more or less, low GDP can be seen in all configurations. Reducing gender disparity within the politics of Asia, economic development does not impact critically.
According to a research, it was found that women with high parliamentary representation exists in five countries with Muslim-majority populations and four countries with insignificant Islam adherents, depicting that religion alone does not determine the selection of women.
Muslim societies with a significant number of female MPs have a reserved seat policy as a form of gender quota: Afghanistan has 27 percent seats reserved for women, Saudi Arabia has 20 percent, Iraq reserves 25 percent, Pakistan 17 percent, and Bangladesh has 14.3 percent.
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