More power to women: Congress list raises hope
In many democratic countries, this is seen to have been true, and today, many countries have a large number of women in top positions in government and in public life because of their greater participation in politics.
Lucknow: It is often believed that greater participation of women might be one factor to bring about far-reaching changes in contemporary politics. In many democratic countries, this is seen to have been true, and today, many countries have a large number of women in top positions in government and in public life because of their greater participation in politics.
More power to women:
In India, however, this has been truer in promises than in action. Issues like inducting more women in certain sectors and services, and giving them a committed presence in legislatures, have floundered in face of absence of consensus. Political parties and establishment in general, dominated by men, have obliquely or otherwise, scuttles all such moves.
In this context, the promise made by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the general secretary of Congress, to issue a women-centric election declaration just before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, was watched with keen interest. The most prominent promise made by the party was to give 40 per cent tickets to women in the UP election. In the 403-member Assembly, it means having about 160 women contestants. Among the most common reaction to this announcement was that the party would find it difficult to find as many women candidates.
The announcement of the first list of party candidates for UP, comes as an assertion of the party's commitment in this regard. The list of 125 candidates has names of 50 women, that is 40 per cent of this list's total. It is learnt that more than 9000 applications had been received by the party from people who were desirous to contest the election on the Congress ticket, of which about 6000 were women. This shatters the belief that not too many women are interested in joining active politics.
The selection of 50 women in the first list indicates that the party must have worked hard to select women candidates from amongst the applicants, and that too, of women who had the mettle to contest, and hopefully win, the election. According to party sources, the top leadership was very clear that the promise of having 40 per cent women contestants was a serious one and had to be met. And also, the women who were to be finally included in the list, were women of substance, spunk and courage.
As mentioned by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the list is a new message that the party wants to pursue a new brand of politics. The message is that women who have raised their voice against discrimination and oppression are to be encouraged to take their activism forward. Their success will make the society understand that women's empowerment is not merely a slogan, but it has the power to change the world.
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