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Home NEWS Kerala Assembly elections | Breaking the glass ceiling in politics

Kerala Assembly elections | Breaking the glass ceiling in politics

Though ladies outnumber males in the Kerala’s electoral pool, no political entrance has ever pushed for a fairer illustration of girls inside social gathering buildings

While Kerala has been constantly sustaining its prime slot in the Human Development Index, there’s nonetheless no change in the obvious under-representation of girls in politics. Even the 2021 figures stay dismal as the lists introduced by all the three main fronts embrace simply 40 ladies, solely 9% of the whole 420 candidates.

The exclusion turns into much more pronounced as there was no promising change in comparison with earlier years, an indicator of the monumental problem concerned in reaching candidature and office-holding. “Women’s visibility in the upper echelons of democratic politics needs attention. As we enter the seventh decade of electoral politics, Kerala has had just 12 women MPs in the Lok Sabha, as one of the States that has always recorded a low representation of women. It is a simple question. As a State that boasts more number of women than men, with higher human development indicators than other States and a woman Health Minister who was praised globally for her leadership in COVID-19 management, where are its women in public decision making?”, asks Dr. Shoba Arun, Reader in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, U.Okay., and creator of Development and Gender Capital in India: Change, Continuity and Conflict in Kerala.

Though ladies outnumber males in the State electoral pool, no political entrance has ever pushed for a fairer illustration of girls inside social gathering buildings. The Kerala Assembly has seen a complete of eight ladies ministers thus far, together with Okay.R. Gowri Amma, M. Kamalam, M.T. Padma, Susheela Gopalan, P.Okay. Sreemathy, P.Okay. Jayalakshmi, Okay.Okay. Shylaja and J. Mercykutty Amma — a miniscule determine towards the 200-plus males. There have been icons like Gowri Amma and distinguished leaders akin to Susheela Gopalan who have been unjustly denied chief ministership, as the State is but to see a girl helming the Cabinet.

Basic drive

Writer Indu Menon observes patriarchy as the primary drive that distances ladies from positions of political management. “In Kerala, men fear women coming into power and disrupting our dominant social structure. Look at our fronts promising to protect some very regressive and misogynistic practices in their manifesto. There is no point in expecting gender parity from them,” she says.

Over the years, political fronts in Kerala have additionally gone for the unfair tactic of fielding ladies in seats the place winnability is zero. “Being given less than 10 per cent of seats or losing seats is evidence that women are not taken seriously in political representation, particularly in its upper levels of governance. For women to be taken seriously, we need them to be seen and heard in public domain, with dignity and equality, and for this, our mindsets need to change,” says Ms. Arun.

Different image in LSGs

The image is completely completely different in Local Self-Governments the place the gender hole is diminishing each time with a crop of succesful ladies coming to the forefront and taking on. “It happened because of reservation and in many cases, it ends there. If we want to go to the next level, we will have to challenge many invisible barriers and discriminatory practices within our respective parties,” says a woman politician on condition of anonymity.

Even as more and more women are entering active politics, there has been no considerable rise in the percentage of women candidates or legislators. “It is just not straightforward breaking the glass ceiling and there are a number of ladies who get sidelined and silenced in the course of. Our involvement or effectivity won’t at all times translate into proportionate illustration, and most of the instances, we’re compelled to stay invisible,” she provides.

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