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The political scenario of our country is set to see interesting times as a new all-women party – The National Women’s Party (NWP) has been launched. Founded by medico and social activist Dr. Shwetha Shetty, the party described itself as ‘the party of mothers’ and will contest half of the 545 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming general elections.
Talking about her party Dr. Shetty spoke about how gender disparity still exists in politics in our country and hence women’s rights and needs are constantly side stepped. She also pointed out that the women’s reservation bill has been stuck for over two decades and is yet to see any concrete action. Her party says it will concentrate on these essential issues.
Recently, a political collective ‘Shakti’ was launched, which urged men and women to reach their MP and advocate the passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill. This collective was once again an initiative to ensure that women have ample representation in the house that makes the rules and regulations that govern us all. Currently women have only a dismal 8% representation.
The fact that women’s safety and security in our country is not given the importance it deserves is no secret. When the severity of crime is too high and there is outrage across the nation, the ruling party takes some action to pacify the crowd. But no action is taken to ensure that the laws passed are correctly enforced to deter potential criminals. The result is an increasing rate of crime against women. Our hope is that an all women party will be empathetic and understanding towards such women’s issues.
We are one of the few countries which had a woman Prime Minister as early as 1966, Indira Gandhi. We have also had a woman president – Pratibha Patil and currently have a woman External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj. This shows that our women have the ability to shine.
The gender disparity present in education and employment needs to be addressed and corrected. The sad situation of female infanticide and honour killings that plague our country needs to be curbed. The scary incidents of rapes, molestation and murders that hamper the independence of women need to be stopped. This will only happen when women step in and take up the mantle.
National Women’s Party and other initiatives like these could be the beacon of hope that we have all been waiting for. They could be the future leaders who would lead us towards a better tomorrow. I wish them all the best and hope that we see more such initiatives that bring more capable women into politics.
Image courtesy TEN News video
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