While efforts are being made to increase polling percentage of women, low polling percentage seems to be a sign that women are not satisfied with government’s welfare schemes. In 2018 state assembly election, their overall polling percentage increased by just 1% from previous polls to 71.6%. Free Press spoke to a section of women to know their views. Excerpts

Set standards for leaders

Indore: ‘We want safety, education, support’

“When someone becomes a doctor or an engineer, they need to study everything from basics to specialisation. However, we are giving charge of running country to people who don’t learn about it and hence never even feel answerable. We need to set minimum standards for someone to become a leader. Leaders should not have criminal background. We need people who are willing to serve nation and not just enjoy freebies. Women lack safety. Good doctors are forced to study abroad. Our leaders don’t learn and study about equality, because they don’t need to.”
Psychiatrist Dr Smita Agrawal

Equal treatment and work done counts

Indore: ‘We want safety, education, support’

“There are simple issues like drainage in front of my house. When I try to get it cleaned, the complications in the system and casual treatment towards me being a woman showcases the image of government. All the political drama and name shame does not affect my vote. What affect my vote is overall improvement, current scenario and progress. It is not possible to understand what goes on in political parties. I would cast my vote based on work done by contesting parties. Overall, I would want a government that is willing to improve life of every citizen and especially ease things for women.”
Vishakha Karnani, senior healer at Yoga Prana Vidya

Switch to practical edu, respect women

Indore: ‘We want safety, education, support’

“One of reasons women face so difficulties like lack of safety is due to lack of practical education and support from government. We need to switch over to practical education. We have complicated our systems too much. It does not allow transparency, truth and facts to come to light. We have a policy, where women are treated as minority. At every level, whether it is education or development, it is time we give respect and opportunities to women.”
Industrialist Jyoti Surana

Bottom-Up approach lead change

Indore: ‘We want safety, education, support’

“Women’s safety is biggest issue in our country. We are not able to provide a safe environment to women. Other than that, we need to give access to facilities to women especially in rural areas. We need focused development in villages. A proper system for reporting developments is must. Leaders need to address these issues instead of shaming each other. We need someone with solutions, otherwise the problem will continue despite awareness programmes. We need a bottom up approach to solve problems.”
Padma Shri Janak Palta McGilligan

Remove quota, increase institutes

Indore: ‘We want safety, education, support’

“Women face inequality, lack of safety and trouble at every step. We need leaders who have a good track record and genuine understanding of problems. I am concerned about the future of our country, because we need major transformation in mindset of people. We need stronger laws. We need to give up on quotas, if we want talented doctors, engineers and other professionals to make the cut. We should consider increasing seats and removing quotas.”
Educationist Margi Patel