Taking the idea of gender equality a reality has been a long struggle, and it has panned out differently in different periods of human history, and across civilisations.
In the modern age, where this idea rooted itself in the societal, economic, and political spaces, we have witnessed substantial changes in our societal role of women; also and in the economic standards and political roles.
We have, definitely, come a long way, as the evidence all around reflects. But still, there is a longer way to go.
The deeply entrenched societal ideas, particularly in traditional and less educated societies, still refuse to yield.
In the world rife with economic inequalities the gap between men and women, in terms of financial status, is huge. And in the political arena, the participation of women is still far less than desired.
Even though we have laws passed to the effect, and the political parties openly make claims of taking a due percentage of women along, the figures show that women participation is still less than what is reflected in the tall claims of the political parties.
The Chief Election Commissioner, pointing out the fact that the participation of women in the Parliament is much less than desired, should be taken seriously. To this end the political parties should become more sensitive and responsive.
The higher ideals like women empowerment, and gender justice, are only rhetorical slogans if women are not allowed to be in positions of decision making.
And the actual place to make decisions is the parliament of a country, and the legislative assemblies in the states of a country.
If, in this space, we have the required participation of women, we can ensure that more societal spaces open for them, and better economic prospect is in the offing for womenfolk.
So it’s crucial that the political system, and the rules related to this space, are gender responsive.
All the institutions should ensure that better and progressive ideas are implanted in the political spaces, so that the idea of gender justice becomes a reality.
And finally this all must reflect in the shape of actual participation. Numbers must speak, figures must confirm, and statistics must announce the arrival of change.