Dear Leaders, Sexist Remarks Can’t Deter Our Women in Politics

If you think that women in power are safe from sexism and misogyny, then think again.

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If you think that women in power are safe from sexism and misogyny, then think again. Women in politics, apart from bearing the responsibilities of the country, are subjected to the pressure of wearing the ‘appropriate attire.’

If not found in the right attire, they become the content for distasteful jokes, memes and trolling. Even after all this, there is no guarantee of escaping the unsolicited comments. Guarantee for the same is given by our leaders.

How, you ask? Read what BJP MLA Surendra Narayan Singh had to say about Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on 19 March:

“She is 60 years of age but her hair is all black. This is called having a pretentious taste. Mayawati gets facial done everyday. She has gotten her hair coloured. Our PM Modi dresses up in an appropriate fashion.”

These comments are against constitutional and human rights. One cannot pass judgment on anyone’s colour, race, gender, sexuality, religion and race.

Now read what Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma said about Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra:

“Pappu says he will become prime minister. Now Pappu’s pappi is here. Was Priyanka Gandhi not our country’s daughter before?”   

Sir, leaders like you don’t only represent the men but the entire country. The other half of the country’s population exists. What are you trying to suggest by saying this?

Are you trying to say that our mentality, instead of progressing, is regressing? Can a woman being part of politics not be a simple, equal and normal process?

Comments on women leaders are made by politicians of several parties.

Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, in December 2012, made a controversial remark on Smriti Irani.

“You used to dance on TV. Today you are in politics.”   
Sanjay Nirupam, President, Mumbai Congress.

I am sorry, but we considered you a leader. Your language and mentality, however, are anything but of a leader’s.

Sharad Yadav is a very senior leader. Leaders from several parties respect him, but what he said about former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje in December last year, is nothing short of despicable.

“Vasundhara should be given rest as she is very tired. She has become fat, earlier she used to be thin. She is the daughter of MP.”   
Sharad Yadav, LJD leader

Sir, I can’t speak for Vasundhara ji but we are certainly tired of such statements. Your words are evidence that in male-dominated politics being a woman is in itself a big struggle.

Indian politics cannot be defined by leaders like you, but the issue here is that people like you are our leaders, and you still cannot accept women in leadership roles.

Maybe this is the reason our country stands at number 150 in the list of representation of women in Parliament.

Considering all this, it is extremely fortunate that despite such hurdles there are several women leaders in India who are emerging as champions. They do not deserve such harsh words, they deserve to be saluted.

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