Importance of Women’s Involvement in Decision-Making for Gender Equality
Consider your homes or public spaces, your office, political spaces, and public spheres, and visualize the image of the person who makes decisions in these spaces. Well, it is very disappointing but most of us will draw the image of a ‘man’, holding the position of authority instead of a woman and that’s from where the divide starts. It has been long for the society, debating the importance of Women’s Involvement in Decision for gender equality, yet there have been so many instances where we see the oppressors pulling down the positions were stood as decision-makers.
A Friendy Example of how Women are pushed back from holding the decision making roles
Recently, in a hotly debated final document in an International Online Conference, The U.N.’s premier global body fighting for gender equality found traces that suggest that it pushes back conversations for gender equality and opportunities for women in decision-making roles. “There was continued resistance to women’s rights in the document, as well as a hesitation to recognize topics of gender identity.” – The UN Commission said. The UN Commission even called for a sharp increase of women in global decision-making after seeing this continuous pushback against women’s rights and a refusal to address issues of gender identity. To this, Kamala Haris, the Vice President of The US in her virtual presence, “the status of women is the status of democracy,” and that President Joe Biden’s administration would work to boost both of these areas.
So, considering the gender norms, women are generally seen as the obeyers instead of the decision-makers. And the gender who has been the one making the decision, consciously or subconsciously get the authority to undermine the representation of women.
To put in perspective, how fewer women in Judiciary lead to less gender-equal judgments
There are only 2 women judges in the Supreme court, and 78 women judges, out of 1079 judges in High Courts. This very fact shows the inequality within the Judiciary. The irony is that in the committees that look after taking decisions for gender-based violence also have more men than women. And then, we have examples of cases where Justice SD Bobde says – “If you marry the girl you raped, we can help you. If not, if not, then you lose your job and go to jail” to a rapist of a minor girl. The other such example can be of M.P. High Court that asked the sexual harassment accused to request the victim to tie him ‘rakhi’ and promise to protect her “to the best of his ability for all times to come”.
So, if a judicial system, that is expected to be most fair and unbiased, can make less gender-equal judgments, this very fact clearly reflects that we need more women in decision-making roles to have an equal representation of all genders for all genders.
How Decision making can help in women’s empowerment?
“Agar Hum apne faisle khud nhi lenge toh dusre le lenge. Fir chahye voh hume pasand ho ya na hon. Toh humi ko khud ko badalna hoga na daadi.” – Sandhya, Pagglait. Sandhya here suggests that a woman needs to make her own decisions because if they won’t, others will start doing it for them. And apparently, this is what exists here as well. If women don’t get to make decisions, in the first place, for themselves, and then for society, how will they find the status of equality in the larger context? If men will always get to decide what’s right for women and the people largely, how will they get to acknowledge women as not subordinates but equals?
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