In an unprecedented move, the National Commission for Women Thursday has raised the issue of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) not having appointed a single woman minister in the Delhi Cabinet.
The commission’s chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, “requesting him to consider the inclusion of women Ministers in the Delhi Cabinet”.
In her letter, Sharma said, ”It has been conveyed that various kinds of equality, including political equality, political leadership and power sharing is one of the most basic, intrinsically valuable as it is the key to equality on other realms, and all citizens are supposed to be given equal representation and leadership irrespective of gender.”
She also added that inclusion of women is essential for “gender responsive governance” and to ’’enable women to have equal say in decision making, that affects the lives of the citizens, their policies, and their environment to achieve equality of rights as well as participate in the development of the country”.
“Of course we cannot direct any government in the make up of their Ministers, but it has been surprising for us to see that there isn’t a single woman minister especially after an election where the political party has received an overwhelming support from female voters. We have received a number of letters, representations and have even been tweeted by ordinary citizens to take up the matter with the Delhi Government. We can only request them to reconsider the inclusion of women ministers,” Sharma told The Indian Express.
According to a poll-eve survey by Lokniti-CSDS published in The Indian Express, women voters in Delhi exercised their franchise overwhelmingly in favour of AAP, far more than men did, leading to the party’s landslide victory.
The poll survey found women were 11 percentage points more likely to have voted for AAP in the recently concluded Assembly election than men, 60% against 49%.
The BJP and Congress, on the other hand, received 8 percentage and 2 percentage points lower vote shares, respectively, among women as compared to men. The wide gender gap ended up giving AAP a massive 25-percentage point lead over BJP, among women voters as compared to just a 6-point lead among men.
The survey further found that the pro-AAP voting pattern among women cut across caste, community, class and age divisions.
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