Women constitute a larger chunk in our society. However the history of struggle of women to stand on equal footings among their male counterparts is not very scintillating. From the suffrage movement of 1980s till today the struggle is continued in one or the other way. The developed countries have alleviated their status in a better way whereas the developing countries are still struggling. The incorporation of gender equality in its sustainable development goals by United Nations reflects the need to uplift the situation of women all around the globe. The commitment showed by the developing countries towards achieving this goal is commendable. However the subjects for which the strategies are being devised, laws are being enacted and actions are being taken, must also realize the importance of their voice and their inclusion in the system at par with their male counterparts.
The first step for women empowerment and for women to make their voice heard is to participate in the politics. The importance of being an active participant in the political process is realized from the fact that only after being elected and after becoming a part of the legislative body, they will be in a position to make their voice heard and shall be able to communicate the grievances and problems faced by women at large. Finally to shape the laws which benefit women as well.
Five reasons that hinder women to participate in politics:
1. Cultural Barriers: In most of the developing countries, the role of women is to be a mother, sister and daughter. She supposed to look after the house. They are not allowed to choose whatever profession they want in the first instance even if they are allowed; the choice is limited for women.
2. Lack of education: Firstly the level of education in these countries is not up to the mark. The women who are educated prefer to remain safe by joining professions like teaching etc. Secondly the majority of women do not hold the required knowledge about the processes and women are also not given access to the experience of contributing in the important policy making issues due to this reason. This further deteriorates their situation.
3. Institutional Barriers: they include the processes and procedures which make it difficult for women to survive in the working scenario. To adjust so that they may become acceptable in a particular environment in an organization, women need to transform their feminist behavior into certain masculine flows which isolate them in the society or in the other scenario creates huge pressure on them to maintain work and life balance.
4. Patriarchal system: Patriarchal system pervades in every field in the developing countries. Women are not allowed by the male members of their family in the first instance to select this field. If they do select, they have to face the patriarchal culture in their working environment as well which undermines their skills and snubs their voice.
5. Economic dependency: this is also a major reason, as most of the women in the developing countries maintain domestic chores; they are highly dependent on their male members. This economic dependence not only shatters their level of confidence at one hand but also discourage them from exhibiting such intentions or desires.
These are the more or less universal reasons which create hindrance in the way of women to participate in politics. To achieve the goal of gender equality and increased participation of women in politics firstly the authorities need to understand the root causes which are responsible in a particular contextual setting. Only then the corrective actions and measure shall work.