Political Empowerment of Women – WRB Discussions in Bhopal

On 24th April, Dr. Kumari addressed the press conference in Bhopal to advocate the passage of Women’s Reservation Bill. Mahila Chetna Manch is the state level partner who are supporting the advocacy campaign. Many journalists raised questions about the rationale and efficacy of the bill because women in rural areas have lower literacy levels and are not empowered. To this Dr Kumari provided the response that in order to change the very situation, we need more women in positions of power for all inclusive political administration leading to socio- cultural and economic development. There are instances when women win elections and their constituency is managed by their husbands, fathers and fathers in law. Usually families who are veterans in politics try to keep the power within their own clan. Ordinary women regardless of their educational qualification must be able to win democratically. This bill is for them. A woman MP or MLA who can raise gender concerns and those for all inclusive development must be given a chance.

On 25th April, Archana Jha from the Centre for Social Research led the workshop for promoting reservation for women in parliament. Many elected representatives (men and women) from the district of Bhopal attended the workshop and discoursed on the importance of having more women representatives in parliament. About 25 participants attended the workshop that was supported by Mahila Chetna Manch.