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The general seat MPs act as the electorate, but there is effectively no competition for the seats as party leaders nominate only as many candidates as there are available seats for each party. The reserved seat MPs, therefore, do not have a constituency as they are not directly elected by the people, and they are not considered by the voters as a representative of the women’s electorate. The female MPs of the reserved seats neither have a budget allocation to develop their own initiatives nor have little influence in governmental policy decisions. They have traditionally been treated as second-tier parliamentarians and been used as a ‘vote bank’ for the treasury benches. The current system of reserved seats without direct election has caused marginalization of women in the policy-making institution and has not benefitted women.
The “UN Women impact stories series”, updated quarterly, illustrates the human impact of UN Women’s work across Asia and the Pacific, highlighting the partnerships that make this work possible. These stories share how we and our many partners are striding forward to realize a better world for women and girls—one of equality and empowerment because that is what we do and who we are, as a leader, mobilizer, convenor, and provider of programmes.