As An Indian Woman, I Want My Right To Represent In Government!

Posted: March 28, 2019

There are only 12% of women in Indian Parliament, an abysmal number. As candidates are being given tickets, here’s a call out for more women’s representation.

I am a part of democracy older than half a century,
In its parliament where every caste and creed may be present,
I am an unrepresented minority which is not even 12%.
Though I may be 50% of the population,
Yet if I lined up every woman who got elected to the parliament since its inception,
there won’t be enough to fill even one parliament!
Beyond your man-didates and man-liament, I want my right to represent!

You always say my place is in the house,
Yes but today I want to add a corrigendum;
Please also include the upper and lower houses of the Parliament.
I call for a representation which is beyond wives,
daughter and daughter in laws of your family,
Space which is for all of us, my country’s every single woman.
Beyond your sheer tokenism, I want my right to represent!

You question me why I ask for reservation
I ask you why are you so resistant?
Do you fear losing power and fame?
For once let it go.
For once enable many Jacindas amongst us to flourish and grow.
You have usurped this space for too long, now make it inclusive and qualitatively strong,
Beyond your misogyny and patriarchal rules, I want my right to represent!

Many of you have made tall claims in the past and are doing it in the present,
But you have passed every bill except the most important one!
Why don’t walk the talk this time and set precedence?
Why don’t field more women candidates now in this election?
Do you doubt my Winnability? You better not
Because whenever I got an opportunity, I have won!
Beyond your talk which is easy and cheap, I want my right to represent!

I shall not play on the compassion card and implore you,
Talented and equally capable, I shall win on my competence.
Political equality is my right given to me by the constitution
I shall petition, I shall appeal and ensure that you play on a level field.
Despite all your efforts to limit my horizons, I shall rise and break the glass ceiling.
This election, dear men – Rise above your false promises and deceptions,
Give the better half of the population a better chance to represent.

-A woman citizen on behalf of every Indian woman

Author’s noteDo you know India ranks at 153 out of 192 countries when it comes to women’s representation in national and state level politics. Do you know that across the years from 1952 till 2014, the number of women MPs in the parliament has increased just from 24 to 66?  This is not even a single woman in addition per year! In the last 4 national elections, only 8% of candidates fielded by parties have been women and indications so far for the upcoming elections also don’t show much of a trend change except for two regional parties. Unless we do something about it, these statistics aren’t going to change, thanks to the patriarchy and power play. Shakti – “Political Power to Women” is a non-partisan inclusive platform of women who have joined hands to change this equation. It is a citizens’ movement striving to bring more women to power by working at multiple levels. Do read in about it and join the movement.

Image source: videoblocks

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Present - North India Lead - Education, Charter for Compassion, Co-Author - Escape Velocity, Writer & Social Activist.

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