Founder of Political Shakti, Tara Krishnaswamy, shares with us some of the concerns on why the world’s largest democratic nation has failed to include enough women in politics, and never had more than 15% of women seats in the Union Cabinet in the last many decades.
This brings to the question on the governance system as to why we have not built a system where women can compete in fairness and get at top decision-making positions.
Krishnaswamy highlights that the crux of the matter is between social, economic and political power balanced against women in particular, which is deeply ingrained in patriarchal countries like India. While major political parties claim to have crores of women, why are they not seen or included in the party decision-making bodies, office-bearer responsibilities or holding higher ranks of the party committee? She argues that women's presence should not be taken as tokenism and parties must make sure that there is a critical mass of women representation at every level of politics.
The onus is on the whole ecosystem, that must create a nurturing space and fair system for women where they can rise up to the top, along with a hundred men, every time a party wins. “But for this to happen it will require a mammoth effort by the whole ecosystem such as by parties, regional and national, by the electorate, voters and volunteers to ensure that women’s representation is addressed properly, before we can genuinely claim to be a representative democracy”, she says.
Watch her speak more on how we can bring sustainability in women representation in our fourth episode of Women in Governance with Tara Krishnaswamy.
Also watch the third episode of Women in Governance here Tara Krishnaswamy: What It Takes For Women To Have A Career In Politics?
(Interviewed and produced by Poorvi Gupta, video edited by Nang Tanvi)