Hyderabad: The representation of women in Parliament and state assemblies is a meagre 10 per cent, while in local bodies the representation is as high as 50 Per cent.
Women politicians find that there is more scope for them at the local body level and less at state and national level, which continues to be male-dominated.
The Women's Reservation Bill, promising 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament, continues to be in limbo. Dr Geeta Reddy, former minister and senior Congress Leader says that “with money power taking centre stage in politics, it is going to be more and more difficult for women to take up positions at the higher level. It has now become very tough. Those who come from a political background are skimming through, but those who are independent are not able to take it up and will have to work their way through. The only way to give women the required space is reservation for them.”
Women's representation in the newly formed state is dismal and begs the question whether there will be any more in Parliament.
Sujatha Surepally, who contested for the Chennu Bahujan Samaj Party, says the situation is going from bad to worse.
“Political power in India is changing and there is more dominance of men. There is also patriarchal politics and that is not good as the space for women gets further restricted. Gender equality is completely missing and all that we are witnessing is further deterioration.”
In the local bodies, reservation has brought about change and given more women the chance to contest. Ahmedanagar corporator Ayesha Rubina says, “Reservation for women does help and it has given a chance to many young women working at the ground level to opt for public work. It is a challenging job as you have to deal with the police and also delegations. Reservation is the only way forward in legislature and parliament.”