Replug: Women’s reservation bill will bridge gender gap in decision-making
Randomised evaluations conducted by Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) affiliated researchers in Rajasthan and West Bengal found that women elected to government positions were more likely to invest in public goods deemed important by women including water, roads, and public health, despite the challenges they face through gender disparities in education and public service experience. This suggests that increased female leadership could lead to positive social policy development in the areas. The study also finds that female representation has a positive outcome on the ambitions parents have for their daughters and reduces the gender gap in secondary education.
The findings are encouraging to proponents of India's proposed women's reservation bill, which seeks to allocate one-third of legislative seats to women. However, the proposed legislation, two decades in debate, has plenty of opponents. Some argue that women holding these seats will have taken them from more deserving men. Others claim that the women's power would only be symbolic and that they would act on behalf of their male decision-makers.