Gender Diversity on Boards: Global Experience and Measures Initiated

DOI10.1177/0019556120140306
Publication Date01 July 2014
Date01 July 2014
AuthorNand Dhameja,Vijay Aggarwal
SubjectArticle
GENDER DIVERSITY ON BOARDS: GLOBAL
EXPERIENCE
AND
MEASURES INITIATED
NAND
DHAMEJA
AND VIJAY
AGGARWAL
The
article
deals
with
gender
issues
in
relation
to
developmental thrust and opinion
of
ideation and expression.
The measures adopted
in
this article are the indications
of
local and global issues in the form
of
data and indicators
in
a
manner
of
existentialist approach and dimensions
of
opinion
to the cohesive
and
metaphysical considerations as well.
Gender diversity is a central and integral theme which needs
clinical eye
to
mitigate with utmost dexterity and briskness.
INDIA OFFERS a lot
of
opportunities to women, and they have voice in
every
day
activity-economic,
business and
political
life.
Indian
Constitution grants equality to women and the State is empowered to adopt
measures
of
positive discrimination in favour
of
women. Empowerment
of
women
is
recognised
as
the central issue in determining the status
of
women. Further, from the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974 -78) onwards, there
have been increased measures for empowerment
of
women. These include,
enactment
of
National Commission for Women (1990) to safeguard the
rights and legal entitlements
of
women; and
73n1
and
741h
Amendments
(1992 and 1993) to the Constitution
of
India to provide reservation
of
seats in the local bodies
of
Panchayats and Municipalities for women for
their participation in decision-making. Further, gender budgeting system
was introduced in 2005-06 to promote women's equality and empowerment
by allocating funds to implemeut policies for the development and
empowerment
of
women. The gender budget statement has received
an
impetus over the years with growing awareness
of
gender sensitivities. As
such, gender budget is presented every year under Statement
20
in the
Expenditure Budget in two parts. Part A contains schemes in which 100
per cent provision is made for women; while Part B reflects schemes where
aJlocation for women constitutes at least
30
per cent
of
the provision.
Despite the above, a strong patriarchal tradition among women persists in
many different social frameworks and women still live by century old
customs and traditions. In that respect women are generally perceived with
444
I
INDIAN
JOURNAL
OF
PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION
VOL.
LX,
NO.
3,
JULY-SEPTEMBER
2014
'private' sphere having association with family and home; while 'public'
domain to participate in political authority and economic decision-making
is associated with male members.1
National Representation
of
Women
"You can tell the condition
of
a Nation by looking
at
the status
of
its
wumen".
-Jawaharlal
Nehru
Women in governments are under represented
in
most
of
the countries
in contrast to men. The global average
of
women in Parliament as
of
November 2013 stood at 21.3 percent, a slight increase over the numbers in
the immediately preceding two years (20.3% and 19.5%). A number
of
countries are exploring measures to increase women's participation in
government at all levels, from the local
to
the national. Globally, women are
increasingly being elected to be heads
of
state and government and in about
two dozen countries, women currently hold office as the head
of
a national
government.
In
India women have a poor
11
per cent representation in the
Lok Sabha and 10.6 per cent
in
the Rajya Sabha, making India 108th among
188 countries covered in the annual analysis on statistics
of
women Members
of
Parliament (MPs) conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union OPU).
Among countries ranked
by
the IPU based on percentage
of
women in
the lower house
of
Parliament and the top ten countries with greatest
representation
of
women in national Parliaments as on April
1,
2013 are
presented in Exhibit I,
of
these the top three countries were Rwanda,
Andorra and Cuba.
2
In addition, major English-speaking democracies are placed mostly in the
top 40 per cent
of
the ranked countries. New Zealand
ranks
at position 27 with
women comprising 32.2 per cent
of
its Parliament. Australia (24.7% in the
lower house, 38.2% in the upper house) and Canada (24.7% lower house,
37.9% upper house) rank at position 46 out
of
189 countries. The United
Kingdom is ranked at 58 (22.5% lower house, 22.6% upper house), while the
United States ranks
78
(17.8% in the lower house, 20.0% in the upper house).
Besides gender diversity in government, Gender Development Index
(GDI)3 introduced for the first time by Human Development Report 2014
1Basu, Amartya; Jayal, Naraja Gopal; Nussbaum, Martha; Tambiah, Yasmin, Essays on
Gender and Governance, India: Human Development Resource Centre, United Nations
Development Programme, 2003.
2http://www.quotaproject.org/quotas.cfm
3Human Development Report 2014, United Nations. It may be mentioned that the Human
Development Index (HDI), a measure
of
health, education and standard
of
living, contained
in the Human Development Report published
by
United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) covers 187 countries. India's ranking in the HDI remained at 135.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT