Violence keeps women away from politics

Ninety per cent of women in countries like India, Pakistan and other developing countries find their resolve to join politics broken by violence, a study has found. 

The study, conducted by UN Women and  a social research organisation in the wake of elections in the world’s largest democracy, also noted that lack of stricter legislation to deal with offenders are not helping things for women aspiring to join politics. 

The report, released on Wednesday, said most female elected representatives, barring a few, have very limited or marginal role in important policy discussions within their parties. 

Fifty per cent of the respondents have also said the decision of a woman joining electoral politics is taken by her family. Ninety per cent of them also said women have to balance their public role with their domestic responsibilities. They also said violence against women increased within the family when they are unable to fulfil their domestic duties. 

The study also points out that police in these countries do not respect women’s rights and most cases of abuse go unreported. As a result, violence against women is far higher. 

It also mentions that violence against women are rarely reported in media and largely denied by the political system. 

While physical violence, verbal abuse and threat of violence are higher for India, character assassination is seen as a greater threat in Pakistan and Nepal.

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