Published: 20th July 2021
Nari Shakti in Modi Cabinet: Why are India's number still so low?
Only 21 per cent of government ministers across the world are women and only 14 countries have 50 per cent or more women in their cabinets
While we hail 'nari shakti' in the rejigged Modi cabinet for having the most number of women ministers since 2004 — 11 women are part of the new and expanded cabinet which now has 77 ministers. Both terms of the Manmohan Singh government comes second with 10 women in its cabinet.
While this makes great headlines, it is also important to see where we actually stand when we look at the global picture. The United Nations has time and again, reiterated that it is essential to have women equally participating in politics and holding leadership positions to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. But the data says that women are still underrepresented at all levels of decision-making across the world and it's a long way till we reach gender parity. "Only 25 per cent of all national parliamentarians are women, up from 11 per cent in 1995," says UN Women, an organisation working towards gender equality. "Only four countries have 50 per cent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61 per cent, Cuba with 53 per cent, Bolivia with 53 per cent, and the United Arab Emirates with 50 per cent," the organisation adds.
According to the data, only 21 per cent of government ministers across the world are women and only 14 countries have 50 per cent or more women in their cabinets. That means even with the highest number of female ministers we have a long road to go reach the global average — 14.29 per cent of our cabinet ministers are women. The annual growth rate is also very low at just 0.52 percentage points. At this rate, we can achieve global gender parity in ministerial positions only around 2077. India might take longer.