In Indian politics, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to be feared, not liked. If women’s issues are centre-stage today, it is because certain political factions fear that expansion of political space for women would lead to a decline in their share. This is not true, but the bogey is flogged relentlessly. The Women’s Reservation Bill has been passed in India’s Upper House but the battle is not over. There is the Lower House and the State Legislatures. In the coming days, expect the issue to feature in prime time TV and in newspapers. A sidelight to this debate: the status of women today in this part of the world. If you are interested in knowing where women stand in India and South Asia compared to their compatriots in East Asia for example, and the link between gender parity and GDP growth, check out the link copied below. There is also an audio version of the article (Click the arrow mark on the extreme left) for those who want to do something else while absorbing the key messages in the article.