Kalki Koechlin’s National Election Womanifesto
OK, so we’ll start with the bad news.
According to the Times of India, The Women in Politics Map 2014 has ranked India 73rd in women’s political participation, with just 9.9% of parliamentary or ministerial posts occupied by women. India ranks below countries like Haiti, Rwanda, Congo, Chad and Zambia.
Now for the good news.
India’s legal infrastructure supports gender equality in politics. For example, the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution, enacted in 1992, mandates a minimum of one-third of seats for women within all of India’s Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Furthermore, a women’s reservation bill currently under consideration proposes setting aside 33% of the Lok Sabha for women.
Why is it important to have women represented in politics? For one, women are likely to have different preferences in policymaking and implementation, since their life experiences would give them a different perspective on justice. In turn, this difference would influence how the police or law enforcement agencies function to be more responsive to women’s concerns. Second, the presence of women in public office would alter the nature of interaction between the sexes, by changing perceptions or the degree of social bias. Finally, observing women in positions of public office would change the attitudes and self-confidence of women across India.
That’s why putting women in power is one of six key points on actor Kalki Koechlin’s ‘Womanifesto‘ for the upcoming general elections. It also suggests that political parties should include issues like women’s safety and rights on their platforms.
The Womanifesto incorporates many options to contact various political parties. The page has the phone numbers, Twitter and Facebook accounts of BJP, Congress, Aam Admi Party, Janta Dal United and Bahujan Samaj Party—making it easy for you to contact these parties directly.
The petition has a clear six-point agenda for the betterment of women and their safety in our country:
- Educate for equality: Bring in better public education system.
- Make laws accountable: Each department involved in delivering justice should have clearly stated action plan for the same.
- Put women in power: Support Women’s Reservation Bill and disqualify anyone who has committed a crime of gender discrimination.
- Police for the people: Zero tolerance for moral policing and ensure a comprehensive response protocol for the police.
- Quick delivery of justice: Bring in laws and ensure their implementation to punish the criminals of gender discrimination.
- Financial stability: Ensure secure, dignified and remunerative employment for women.
This is a manifesto we support – 100%.
If you feel the same way, go to the Womanifesto page and voice your opinion to your political representatives. Then keep the momentum going: tweet #WOMANIFESTO with your stories and support, tell your friends, and – most importantly – hold the politicians responsible at the polls and beyond.