In posters of UP panchayat candidates, husbands hog all the limelight
While 33 per cent seats in the ensuing panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh are reserved for women, almost all the women contestants are shadows of their husbands or the male members of their families. The husbands are not only working as the real candidates but are also in the posters and newspaper advertisements where their pictures are larger than the woman candidate with a clear mention of “wife of” before their names.
Shockingly, a few of the campaigners are projecting themselves as real contenders and the names of their wives are missing from their day-to-day campaigning. In UP, elections are taking place for <g data-gr-id="21">59,164 gram</g> pradhan posts, <g data-gr-id="22">74,3297 gram</g> panchayat member posts, 78,075 members of kshetra panchayat posts and 3,134 <g data-gr-id="17">zila</g> panchayat member posts. In order to increase women participation, the Centre had informed to bring a law that would make way for 50 per cent reservation for women in all <g data-gr-id="18">urban-local</g> bodies following which several states had increased the quota from the existing 33 to 50 <g data-gr-id="19">per cent</g>. But it seems that active participation by women is still a distant dream.
“In UP, words concepts like women empowerment are far from reality. Despite their candidature in local bodies, they are being asked to remain in-house. If a woman has filed her nomination, she must not be a dummy candidate,” said Vimla Batham, an MLA from Noida.