Much has been spoken on the importance of gender equality in our nation but when it comes to Elections, looks like reservation of seats for women happened in a jiffy. As per the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008, women should be given 33% reservation in all state legislative assemblies and the Lok Sabha Elections too, which sadly is not the case this time, either.
If I go to count, there are barely 12 women who have participated in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. In my search of what keeps women away from participating in politics or even casting their vote, I spoke to five women from different fields and discussed their expectations from the imminent government.
“Exercise your vote”
Shruti Singhi, 28, is an entrepreneur and when she was asked about her expectations from the upcoming government she thought it was important for women to exercise their votes first. She said, “I think it’s very important for women to exercise their right to vote and make a well-informed decision. Somewhere we’re all aware as to what the leaders of this democracy are doing and a lot of it has been the best for people. I am very optimistic about a brighter and better tomorrow for this nation. I also feel women should be the doers rather than only thinkers. We’re the change for tomorrow.”
“Jobs for Everyone”
Meeta Gangwani, 50, Founder of an NGO, Sparsh Child Development Centre thinks people from many classes feel left out when they’re out to get a job, she said, “If there is anything I want the upcoming government to do… it is to give jobs to all classes of the society and ensure that no class feels left out in terms of searching a job.”
“Pay more attention towards mental well-being”
Riddhi Doshi, 35, is a dance and movement therapy practitioner since the past three years. Talking about what she expects the new government to do, Doshi said, “I have been working in the field of mental health for the last three years and can safely say that it’s one of the ignored areas within our health system. Even our mental asylums are overcrowded and lack the basic facilities. I would want the government to pay more attention towards mental well-being by investing in awareness campaigns, art-based therapies and updating medical facilities. We, of course, need rehabilitation infrastructure as well.”
“NOTA as the overwhelming majority”
Mriidu Khosla, 35, Co-founder of the Cat Cafe Studio shared her college life story which makes her think NOTA would inspire more people to stand out and participate in Elections. She said, “In engineering college, I was often told, when I couldn’t solve the big math problems like triple integrations, ‘your fundamentals are not in place’. Yes, my math fundamentals were to be focused on, and so is the case with our nation and the leaders that run it. The issues we hear them spend their time on are not gonna make a common man’s life any better or the streets safer for a woman? Nor create better growth opportunities for our young entrepreneurs, neither will they mend our roads to get to meetings on time and actually be more productive. No, the fundamentals are not the priority. So I continue to hope and wish for NOTA to come through. Maybe then, a few decades from now we can look into the triple integration issues.”
Kajol Jiandani, 21, who is a Digital Marketing Executive in Mumbai thinks the nation should be free of its reservation tags, on sharing her thoughts, she said, “I want this nation to be known as Reservation-free India because we are known for having reservations in all sectors, be it college admissions, jobs, teaching faculties and what not. If there are no reservations, there will be justice for all classes and people would be selected on the basis of their skills rather than anything else and that would be great.”