Women in Politics

By Stanzin Dasal LEH, Dec 06, 2016
Rinchen Lamo - Nominated Councillor for Women: In our society, the participation of women in politics is very less because women feel hesitate to stand in this field. If we say there is no skill and leadership quality than it is wrong because women strength cannot be compared with anyone.  They have the capabilities to raise a family, to look after the home and profession in a very balanced way. Today we see lots of successful women in different fields but yes, there is a need for empowerment and upliftment.
We say proudly that there is no differentiation between the men and women in our society but there is a thin line which many of us see when it comes in practical implication. On a very first instance, we don’t have a reservation for women, be it in politics, jobs or any other fields.  Today if women are excelling in different fields then it’s because of their hard work, talent and strength, they were not dependent on anything.
When we talk about the politics people in our society generally assume that it is not meant for women.  The society presumes that politics is not a cup of tea for a woman. They just come down to the conclusion that she is not capable to become a politician and are worthless and useless in such fields. The point is without trying and seeing her capabilities the concept of worthless and incompetent comes first in everyone’s mind. One of the drawbacks in our society is that we believe and agrees easily with every decision.
 We are considered very cultured and well-mannered people because be it a boy or a girl since from the very childhood, we are taught by our parents saying, “Don’t say or do this, a person will laugh at you”. Though these things are taught for a good cause but these teachings have become one of the reasons for not speaking up for the rights, being timid and introvert nature.
The first thing is to believe and support when a woman steps in politics, which has to start from the family itself. Today we don’t have a women involvement in policy and decision-making which is very important to have equal role and participation. 
Unfortunately, we are failing in this.  Today everybody talks about women empowerment but the biggest question is there is no portfolios or separate theme on women in the district plan. When the topic of women is not included in the district plan it means there is no funding and still we talk about uplifting women in the society. I am not saying its male dominated totally but there needs a woman representative to highlight the issues of a woman.
Before talking about the absence of women participation and representative in Council, MP, MLA, MLC I would like to stress and point out that we don’t even have a women involvement at grass root level.  When we talk about leadership quality in women, it becomes immense important to make women participate at the Panchayat level initially. This will help in shaping them up for the higher level. Today if we are asking a woman to stand for any election and work then it is wrong because we have never involved them at grass root level leadership.
Thus, it becomes very important to have seats reserved for the women; if we don’t have a 50 percent reservation for the woman than at least we should have 33 percent.  If we say that woman are not interested than its wrong because there is no opportunities and platform. Introduce the woman reservation at all levels, no woman will step back.
Today many of us have a notion that giving a mandate or an opportunity to a woman is a waste of seats. The attitude of this should be changed in our society, equal opportunity and support should be given. The long speech on women empowerment and development should be applied practically by supporting the woman. Party member should encourage and give equal opportunity to woman in contesting the election not with a thought of only winning the seats but to motivate and develop the society as a whole. 
•         Women should be involved at the grass root level. The reservation should be made starting from the Panchayat level.
•        Theme or a topic on a woman should be involved in the district plan.
•         Awareness campaign and initiative in society should be initiated to encourage women in politics and decision making.
•         Society should support and encourage a woman to lead.
 Sayeeda Bano, Nominated Councillor for Minorities: A woman to stand in politics is very challenging in our society because there is less awareness and also one concept is attached in everyone’s mind that politics is simply not for a woman. Till now, there is no elected woman member in LAHDC, we just have the nominated councilor. It’s not that there was no single woman who stood out to fight elections, they fought but lost it because of less understanding and support.
When it comes to gender equality in Ladakh, very proudly we state that there is an equal status, no discrimination is followed in our society on the basis of man and woman. There are still some places in our society where woman are deprived of basic rights.  
Yes, women are excelling in every field but we still can’t say we are equal because there is no woman representative at the Panchayat level, the role of a woman is missing in the policy and decision-making. We talk about equal status and participation in every field but in practical, we don’t even have a 33% reservation be it in the council or at the grass root level.  It’s very wrong and sad to see that no support comes when a woman stands in an election but yes they want the votes from them but not on the seat. I feel that all the women should stand unitedly to pave some way in the politics also because nothing is impossible as there are women like Pratibha Devi Patel, Mayawati, Mamta Banerjee, Mehbooba Mufti and many more who have lead the country and state , then why can’t a woman from Ladakh be a Minister, MP, MLA or MLC.
Women are very reluctant when it comes to entering politics this is because many times in a society or in a family boy are projected more than a girl child.  It’s not they discriminate but it has been kind of culture and attitude in our society that few things are just meant for boy and girls will not be able to handle it. The point is that there is no work which a woman can’t do the encouragement and support for a girl child to do extraordinary things and to have a thought about leading a society and changing the life should come from the family first. Secondly, it becomes very important for all the party members and workers to support genuinely. They should not just limit their thoughts only in winning the seats rather uplifting the woman in a real sense as they speak on the big platforms.
One of the very important points is that there is no separate theme or portfolio for a woman in the district plan. There is no separate funds allocation for the women welfare and any proper cell or office where the women can come up with their grievances. At present, we do have women group or section in all the parties which is a very good thing but I have come across that the work of them is just seen during the election campaign, other party works and only in giving a reception to the bureaucrats and big leaders.
It's high time women should understand the need of an hour and the importance of them in the decision making. There should be support and will to fight for the rights.
•         Awareness campaign should be initiated throughout the length and breadth of the region.
•         Support from the society is very important to encourage and motivate a woman to stand and fight in the election.
•         Reservation for women will surely open a door to take one step ahead towards working for the society.
•         Involvement of women at the grass root level decision making.