Indian Politics have been a citadel of males from long ago. In a country like India, where people still believe in superstitions and live on their own beliefs based on the caste, creed and religion it becomes very difficult for women politicians to survive. For a country to succeed economically, socially and morally the gender equality is indispensable. It is not a hypothesis or any feminist propaganda-which is an outdated debate, but a fact that has been proven again and again.
Whenever we debate about the elevation of gender equality, we mean women empowerment. In today’s world of technology also, women remain the uneducated and under represented part of the society. Keeping the suffrages of women in mind, the United Nations General Assembly passed a law in April 1979. According to the Article 7 of the Convention of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), women should be a part of the formulation of the government and should have the right to hold a public office and perform the public functions at all the levels of government.
Women have been deprived of their rights from long ago, but now the time has changed and many women are ahead of the game in almost all the professions. Politics has also witnessed many outstanding women politicians. Where one side of the coin represents the atrocities done on Indian women, the other side’s witnesses the growing participation of women in Indian politics. Modern India has witnessed women participating in the local level Panchayats to the executive levels. India has witnessed a woman Prime Minister-Indira Gandhi and a woman President- PratibhaDevi Singh Patil. These two ladies are an inspiration for all the women out there. Although 33% of the seats in local Government is reserved for women, still the women in the 16thLokSabha (convened in 2016) are less than 12%. The world’s largest democracy holds 108th out of 136th position in the Global Gender Gap rank and is considered the worst G20 country for women.
There are some exceptional female politicians who have made their mark despite the gender inequality and women deprivation and are considered as an important part in India’s politics. Some of the leading ladies of Indian politics are Sonia Gandhi-the longest serving president of congress party, SushmaSwaraj-considered as the veteran of electoral politics, Sheila Dixit- elected as the chief minister of Delhi for three consecutive times, Mamta Banerjee-the first women chief minister of West Bengal, Jayalalita-youngest chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Mayawati-elected as the chief minister of UP four times, VasundharaRajeScindia-first women chief minister of Rajasthan, AmbikaSoni-Union cabinet minister, SupriyaSule-LokSabha MP, Agatha Sangma- minister of state in Union Cabinet. These leading ladies are a living example that women are no less than men today in any profession.
The Government has taken many measures to overcome the crucial issue of gender inequality like education, political quotas and gender equality campaigns. Women empowerment can only be made possible when women will come out of the yolk and burst the bubble of being the child raisers and home cleaners.