Vote for Gender Equality: Launch of Election Checklist for Parties and Voters
Chennai: In the coming two weeks, Tamil Nadu will learn who its political parties are nominating to contest the State Assembly elections on May 16, 2016.
In the outgoing Assembly, women have been barely seven percent of the membership. The first list released for the upcoming elections by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lists 227 candidates of whom only 31 are women, about 14% of their list. There is no reason to believe other party lists will perform better on the criterion of gender parity.
Gender equality is the social and political condition without which democracy is incomplete and imperfect. But gender-related issues rarely feature in the rhetoric of Indian elections, and when they do, our talk centres on protection and safety issues. Tamil Nadu state politics follows the legacy of one of India’s oldest progressive and rationalist movements. Gender equality should logically be a part of this legacy.
Prajnya strongly urges political parties in Tamil Nadu to adopt gender parity as a guiding principle in selecting election candidates. To this end, we are launching the ‘PRAJNYA GENDER EQUALITY ELECTION CHECKLIST’, for both political parties and voters. We hope that the checklist acts as an easy to use guide for parties while deciding on their candidates, and for voters while deciding who to elect as their representative.
We reiterate: Democracy without gender equality is just shadow, not substance. This election, make true democracy non-negotiable. Vote for gender equality.