#GenderEqualityElectionWatch: Election Eve Punjab Report Card

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Women candidate tally

Last update: Feb 2, 2017
Assembly size: 117
Source: http://www.elections.in/punjab
Seats contested Women nominees
S. Akali Dal 94 4
INC 117 11
BJP 23 3
BSP 18 0
AAP 117 9
CPI-ML (Liberation) 8 0
Trinamool Cong 15 2
Punjab Front 15 0
Apna Punjab Party 86 4

Manifestos

We’ve already discussed the Congress manifesto here.

The Shiromani Akali Dal manifesto mentions the enhancement of two existing schemes, the Shagun scheme where the government gifts a poor family a sum of money upon the wedding of a daughter and the Babe Nanake Ladli Beti scheme where families receive a sum upon the birth of a daughter. In addition, under the header ‘Women’ they promise free ‘swing’ machines to all girls/women who pass Class 10, bicycles to graduates and 33% reservation in rural and urban local government institutions including Panchayati Raj and Municipal Bodies. Finally, the highlights list sports training and stadia in every district under the header ‘women’ and promise government jobs to sports medal-winners.

The Aam Aadmi Party has released several manifestos in Punjab, for youth, for farmers and for Dalits, and all three are gender-blind except for a Shagun scheme of their own, mentioned in the farmers’ manifesto. Its final comprehensive manifesto contains a section on ‘women’ which fares better than the other parties’ attempts:

  • “33% reservation for women in jobs. Women employees will preferably be posted in their home district.
  • Salaries of Anganwadi workers/helpers, Asha workers and Mid day meal helpers salaries will be doubled. Women hostels in every district.
  • Special Police wing to crack down on menace of ‘Holiday brides’ and domestic abuse.
  • Suraksha button on every mobile phone with emergency connectivity with Punjab Police via Wi-Fi.
  • Special Fund for women and children of victims of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Money to be adjusted against maintenance granted by courts and will be recovered from husbands or those responsible for paying.
  • 100,000 (one lakh) toilets for women in public spaces. 
  • Swift and effective justice in Crimes Against Women. Fast track courts to be built and made functional.
  • Women employees will be given child care leave and provided crèche facilities at the work place.”

It wasn’t possible to locate a full-text version of the BJP manifesto but the press release everyone carried stated, “On the education front, the manifesto assures making free the studies of girls till Ph.D. level.”

Overall grade

It is impossible to endorse any Punjab political party as being singularly committed to gender equality, but a cursory glance suggests that in terms of nominating women, Congress and AAP lead but AAP’s manifesto indicates that there are more people in AAP thinking about meaningful inclusion than there are in other parties.

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Women MPs in 15th Lok Sabha: Paramjit Kaur Gulshan

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Basic Information:

Name: Paramjit Kaur Gulshan

Constituency: Faridkot (Punjab)

Party: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)

Terms in parliament: 14-15th parliament

Age: 60

 Contact Information: 1, Meena Bagh, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi – 110 003,

                                     Tels. (011)    23795056, 23795085, 9868180331 (M)

 First elected to the 14th Lok Sabha, this M.A. in sociology and economics takes a keen interest in social and economic upliftment of the students belonging to the disadvantaged groups of society, and organizing cultural and sports activities to help the orphans and old age women. Her election agenda also included fight against female foeticide, setting up of an information technology institute and a modern hospital, improvement of economic conditions of farmers, weaker sections and traders and completion of Bathinda refinery to generate employment.Ms.Gulshan also promised to provide potable water to the residents, railway over bridges in Bathinda, Mansa, Rampura and Budhlada, which, being member of the Railways Parliamentary Committee, she delivered.

 For more details, visit the following links: