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Women’s political empowerment
   
Women’s political empowerment

History bears witness that women have been subjected to artificial political barriers and have long been denied empowerment, but the rising intelligentsia are questioning these barriers severely for quite some time and have pointed out that if “Human development is not engendered it is endangered”.

The Cairo conference organized by the United Nations on Population and Development called attention to women’s empowerment as a central focus. It said that women’s emancipation does not depend on National income but in an engaged political process.

Increase in Women’s Quota

Probably in the wake of this thought process, the state cabinet on May 7th2012 decided to enhance the reservation for women in all urban local bodies (ULB) in the state including the City Co-operation from present 33% to 50%. In which it was decided that the Karnataka Municipal Co-operation Act 1976 and Karnataka Municipalities Act 1964 would be amended in the next legislature session to provide 50% reservation for women in ULB, as 50% reservation is already available for women at the Panchayat Level.

Challenges

Though this move by the cabinet is welcome the ground realities and challenges faced by the women in politics are plenty.

The money and muscle power associated with politics, restriction on movement, lack of control over resources, low literacy rates are some of the hardships faced by the women, with all these the major political parties poorly field their women candidates and do not involve them in any major policy or decision making. There is common feeling prevalent that women are less competent where politics is concerned.

There are also men who do the back seat driving as was seen recently in Gulbarga, where the husband forcefully attended the meeting of the zilla panchayat where their wives were democratically elected, there by jeopardizing the entire process of empowering women politically. 

Women and politics

Women represent 50% of the population, by being in politics’ they can ensure that their rights are upheld, also many women specific issues and gender sensitive issues can be taken up more effectively and passionately by women politicians. Many atrocities against women can be brought down if women in authority address them. The laws meant to protect women can be strengthened and made more stringent ensuring justice to the helpless women victims. The deep rooted patriarchal practices and the feudal mindset do create hurdles in emancipation of women, but with the growing political representation by the women these sanctions on speech and behavior are considerably challenged.

The women’s entry into public space and utilization of authority will improve women’s self esteem . It has been noticed that women are generally less corrupt and more committed when compared to men, if given the right opportunity they will clean the entire system. But it is highly important that many women from all sections of the society come forward for this cause and assert themselves and also it is equally important that a secured and an honorable space is provided to these women as this will enhance their performance level and many more women will engage themselves in politics’ without hesitation .

 


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