Women representatives from different political parties came together here on Saturday in support of reservation of seats for them in Parliament.
During “The Bridge 2018” organised by The Caravan, politicians like Renuka Chowdhury of Congress, Mahua Moitra from Trinamool Congress, Brinda Karat from CPI-M, Sushmita Dev, President, All India Mahila Congress, author Shubhrastha, and political activist Angellica Aribam joined in a session which saw debate on why women are chronically under-represented in political parties and elected bodies.
“Unless outer intervention comes in, women are not going to come up. So, a law is needed to inform men the need of 33 per cent reservation in Parliament, need to be told why women representation is required in Assemblies,” said Aribam.
“As an independent woman, it is still difficult to win an election. Unless there is a law that forces women to actually get entry, there won’t be any change,” said Moitra.
Karat pointed that there is a change in approach of political parties towards the participation of women in politics and cited that women oriented movements are to be credited for the rise in status.
“Political parties themselves are very influenced by different environments. If there are changes, if a consciousness has come, including my own party, then it is because women themselves have come up and talked about the struggles they faced,” she said.
Sushmita Dev from Congress highlighted that the issues which are acting as an obstacle needs to be addressed first.
“I think there are few women who want to do politics which is deeply connected to electoral reforms. Use of muscle, money power – these are the things we need to discuss. We need reforms in electoral processes and we need a huge amount of support from the top party leadership,” she said.