Despite the increase of women participation in voting across states, the country needs to do more to make their share better in Indian politics, concluded the panel discussion hosted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies-Lokniti (CSDS) and German thinktank Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Delhi on 10 June.
Speaking on the under-representation of women in the Parliament, BJP spokesperson for Uttar Pradesh, Anila Singh, said she only sees a “mard sabha” in both houses.
Singh also urged for a 48 per cent reservation instead of 33 per cent for women in the Parliament and state assemblies. Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena said that while women have “arrived” in terms of how they exercise their franchise, they were not given enough tickets.
The other speakers at the discussion were Indian National Congress leader Alka Lamba, Samajwadi Party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari, RJD spokesperson Nawal Kishore and Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Jha.
During the panel discussion, data on the number of seats given to women by various political parties in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls was also discussed.
The panellists discussed ways to increase the participation of women in politics and electoral offices. To make this happen, women must be united in their efforts to make a mark in politics, underlined Chaturvedi. “There is no time for women to fight among each other and find faults in one another. We need to come together and further the gender cause,” she added.
Anila Singh of BJP insisted that parents must see politics as a career for their daughters.
The members on the panel listed initiatives taken by their political parties to raise women’s numbers in politics. Chaturvedi said she has started a six-month fellowship programme for young women to train them for the world of politics.
CSDS and KAS also released a book, Women Voters in Indian Elections Changing Trends and Emerging Patterns, by Sanjay Kumar, Professor and Co-Director, Lokniti, a research programme at the CSDS.