There is a majority of girl students in PU but maximum of them do not vote for female candidates, according to former women presidential candidates of Panjab University who lost the contest by some margin.
However, they want a woman candidate to represent the varsity.
The PU has approximately 55 per cent strength of girls who face the maximum problems as claimed by the manifesto of student parties. Though women candidates have been in the fray for the past five years, till now no one has made it to the post of president in the university.
Navjot Kaur in 2013
Navjot first stood for the PU polls from SFI (Students Federation of India) to contest for president post. She lost with a margin. Navjot is now teaching physics in Eicher School, Parwanoo.
“I stood for the presidential post in 2013-14 elections and lost to a huge margin. But at least I was happy that I got a support of 400 students. There is a majority of girls vote in the campus, but sometimes they even do not vote for girls. It can also be said that girl students are not much bother about casting their votes unlike the boys. There is still a time for women era to come in Panjab University when the head of students council will be a woman,” Navjot said.
Aman Caur in 2014
Aman Caur stood for the president post in 2014 from the Students For Society (SFS). She got 1,334 votes, but lost by 1,066 votes. Now, she is pursuing Phd in English.
“There is a male dominant culture in PU student politics. The student parties also do not encourage women much to come forward and stand for the post of president. The girls need to come forward and take the initiative. There are so many problems related to girls and only a girl president can understand them in a better way. If a girl becomes a president of PU students council, it will send a positive message to the other girls too,” Aman said.
Siya Minocha in 2016
Siya Minocha stood for the post in 2016 from the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). She got 2,074 votes but lost by around 500 votes. She is now pursuing Masters in LLB from PU and is still associated with NSUI.
“It was disappointing that I lost as I was pretty much confident that students, especially girls, will want to have a woman president. The university has over 70 per cent women in various departments and probably not much voted for my party, but this cannot be just the only reason for me losing the elections. The mindset needs to be changed. Women can represent the society in a better way with their ideology. There is no positive outlook in the campus as girl candidates have problems in campaigning too even in the girl hostels because of restricted time. I would want a girl to represent the students council but the ideology should be in the welfare of students,” Minocha said.
Hassanpreet Kaur in 2017
She is contesting this year from the Students For Society (SFS) and is a student of physics department. “I am contesting this time and am confident for the support of girl students of the campus. I would work for the girl students as there are issues that need attention,” she said.