Women’s political participation has been recognized internationally as an important measure of the status of women in any particular country. Hence, in recent years, women’s participation in politics anddecision-making has received significant attention across the world. Mahatma Gandhi was mostly instrumental for arousing political consciousness in the poor, illiterate women and making them take part in the freedom movement.
The successive election statistics shows that the number of women who exercise their franchise has increased from election to election. For the last two decades almost equal numbers of men and women have gone to the polling booths to vote.
The number of women filing their nomination papers in any election, national or State, is only a fraction of the corresponding number of men. Some withdraw at the last moment and the contesting candidates become fewer in number. Ultimately the number of women winning elections will be so small that their percentage in the legislative body will be nominal.
Indian women have a distinction to become UNO Secretary (Vijay laxmi Pandit), Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi), Chief Minister (Sucheta Kriplani, Jayalalitha, Uma Bharati, Mayawati and Vasundhara Raje) and even President (Pratibha Patil).
women have to change their mode of approach to political participation, if they aspire for substantial representation in the legislative bodies.More and more women should take the primary membership of the parties and involve themselves in the local activities. Without improving the primary membership and the grassroot level activities, not many people could go up in the cadres. Political status could be achieved only through hard and persistent work.