Making a case for quota for women in elected bodies like Parliament, a UN report said that reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions has helped reduce gender discrimination.

More than 110 countries have some type of quota for women in parliaments and 11 have quotas to increase the gender balance of government agencies, said a UN report on 'Leave no one behind: A call to action for gender equality and women's economic empowerment'. The report was released in India by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

  1. Through the Panchayati Raj Act, India increased the share of women in local government from five per cent in 1993 to 40 per cent in 2005, exceeding the mandated quota of 33 per cent.
  2. The report's pitch for the women quota assumes significance as the issue of women reservation in Parliament has been pending for long.
  3. The government has taken host of initiatives like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Mudra and Stand-Up India for the empowerment of women.
  4. The report too stated that legal barriers to women's entrepreneurship are pervasive, especially for married women.
  5. The recommendations of the report are consistent with and can strengthen the efforts of the Indian government, businesses and civil society to ensure sustainable job creation.