Gender Equality in Politics

Gender Equality in Politics
This refers to the brilliant piece “Why more women are needed in Parliament” by Kumar Rajesh (Business Standard, August 19). Gender equality, though a noble goal, maybe a distant dream today. Even those in leadership roles in various fields are not comfortable to discuss the subject openly for various reasons. Though many women are in leadership/management roles, all are not supportive of the idea of developing a second line coming up with focus on gender equality.
Going by their success as teachers, civil servants, medical professionals, IT and banking executives, research scholars, business-persons and several other areas where skill matters, there is no logic or rationale for keeping them as ‘workers’ when it comes to political leadership and membership in legislatures (from Parliament to gram panchayats). Some visible progress has been made at ground level in states like Kerala. But other considerations weigh when decisions are taken on candidates for state legislatures or Parliament (both houses).
To create awareness about gender equality, Parliament (both houses) and state legislatures should hold two or three days sessions with pre-decided agenda once or twice a year with all spouses of members also being invited. For each such meeting, half the members may be invited with their spouses so that conduct of deliberations doesn’t become a problem because of the unmanageable number of participants.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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