Loksabha Elections 2019: 'Dirty' politics roils women

There was only 11.3% women representation in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha

Ankita Virmani April 23, 2019 16:55:57 IST

Women are often subjected to sexist and misogynistic comments from their male counterparts. Women politicians holding high offices – be it a chief minister, MP or MLA – aren’t spared either.

For instance, at a public rally recently, Samajwadi Party’s nominee for the Rampur Lok Sabha seat made an offensive remark against his BJP rival Jaya Prada. He said, “What is the difference between you and me? People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and the people of India. It took you 17 years to understand her true face. But I realized in 17 days… that she wears a khakhi underwear.”

Well, Khan has got his share of punishment from the Election Commission, but his remarks are certainly a new low in electoral politics. Khan isn’t the first, and he certainly won’t be the last to hit this low.

Why men just cannot accept women politicians as their competitors without emphasising on their gender? Is it easy to target a woman opponent with sexist comments?

Just before the Rajasthan polls last year, former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav body shamed Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje. He said, “Vasundhara ko aaram do, bahut thak gayi hain, bahut moti ho gayi hain,
pehli patli thi

Raje has had a successful political career of over three decades and has been Rajasthan CM twice but who cares, she’s still a convenient target because, after all, she is a woman.

Wondering when was the last time you heard a male politician making derogatory remarks against a politician of his gender.

Is this why India needs more women representation in our Parliament? There was only 11.3% women representation in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha.

Ever since Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra has been appointed as Congress’s eastern Uttar Pradesh general secretary, she has become a butt of ridicule from the leaders of the opposition.
At times, she is being hauled up for her looks, and at times for her dress sense…. While commenting on her dress sense, BJP leader Harish Dwivedi said, “Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra wears
jeans and top in Delhi, but when she comes to rural areas she is dressed in a sari and sports sindoor

Is this why successful women politicians prefix Amma/ Didi to insulate themselves from such sexist barbs?

One could be mistaken if one thinks that only male politicians are to be blamed for the sorry state of affairs. Sadly, women are fast learning the tricks of the trade as well.

BJP MLA Sadhna Singh recently made a derogatory remark against BSP Chief Mayawati. She said, “jis din mahila ka blouse, petticoat, saari phat jaaye, wo mahila na satta ke liye aage aati hai.
Usko pure desh ki mahila kalankit maanti hai. Wo to kinnar se bhi jyada badtar hai, kyunki wo to na nar hai, na mahila hai

It takes a lot for a woman to enter politics that's still a male bastion and it’s extremely sad to see a woman making sexist remarks.

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