India - Passing of Women’s Reservation Bill

by Le Minh27 September 2023 Last updated at 19:48 PM - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk welcomes the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in India, which will reserve one third of seats in national and state parliaments for women.

This landmark bill, passed by both houses of parliament, will also constitutionally entrench women’s representation in parliament, and be a transformative move in upholding the right to participation for women and gender equality in India.

Looking at the example India has set, the High Commissioner calls on parliamentarians around the world to adopt legislative measures – including, where necessary, gender quotas - in order to ensure women’s voices at the centre of their nations’ political discourse, in full parity with others.

The Bill requires ratification by at least 50 percent of the states, and we call for their swift support. The High Commissioner calls on the Government to implement the new system as soon as possible, alongside the existing reservation for ‘scheduled castes’ and ‘scheduled tribes’.

We stress the importance of fostering an enabling environment for the participation of women from all backgrounds in public life – which can have profound, positive implications for society as a whole.

This is an important step towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as India’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Also, Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from India participated at the 54th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council informing the world about the country’s efforts towards women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Speaking during the UN’s Annual discussion on the ‘Integration of a Gender Perspective’, a social activist and founder of Akshar Foundation, a women-led NGO based in India, Parmita Sharma said they believe the goals of poverty eradication and gender equality go hand in hand: “To achieve the goal of equal integration of women’s perspective in the human rights council and other UN bodies, and in government more broadly, we need a stronger focus on girls’ education.”

She said that Akshar’s model school of poverty eradication measures to increase literacy and employability among underprivileged girls, two of the main factors that contribute to gender discrimination in underprivileged communities.

Regarding to the woman rights, Vietnam’s efforts in gender equality have also been acknowledged by the international community.

The country ranks 51st globally, fourth in Asia and first in the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in the rate of female NA deputies.

Its gender equality index is also constantly rising as Vietnam claimed the 87th position out of the 153 countries surveyed for gender gap narrowing.

Vietnam has a greater percentage of women in senior leadership positions than the global average, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report.

In Vietnam’s mid-market companies, women hold 33 percent of senior leadership positions with the most common being personnel director (36 percent) and chief financial officer (32 percent). Globally the rate is 29 percent.

Ninety five percent of businesses in Vietnam have at least one woman in senior management, again above the global rate of 87 percent.


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Mid-market rates: 2023-12-05 22:52 UTC