She, who you think can only cook and manage the household, can carry the nation on her shoulders. However, each new ambition brings with itself a new struggle, a fight against those who think she is not good enough. To shed some light on these challenges, SheThePeople.TV invited Harini Calamur for a Twitter Chat.
Calamur has worked in the media for about two decades, handling television, digital and film, majorly creating education, entertainment, and news content. With a movie and a few documentaries in her name, she currently teaches media linked subjects and is a content strategy consultant as well. Talking about the struggles of women in politics, she advocates the active participation of women in this domain.
This is a country where women have had to combat biases to enter politics and break through the glass ceiling, where family life often takes precedence over the goal of being in politics. Furthermore, they face gender discrimination which is quite prevalent in this field. Jumping over the hurdles of judgment, bigotry, and prejudices she grows with every leap and aims to touch the sky. Here’s what Calamur has to say about all of this:
Visibility of Women in Politics
Over the years, women have developed a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as a citizen. Not only has this led to an increase in women participating in voting but it has also strengthened their representation. Also, Calamur says that the visibility this year is good in terms of the number of women cabinet ministers. But at the same time, it has been terrible when it comes to overall representation. She adds that the recent female engagement in CAA protests is a great sign. Women leaders like Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist of the IMF and the Finnish PM, Sanna Marin have busted the myths by wielding power in their unique ways.
Good in the sense of more women cabinet ministers, more women leaders of political parties (usually dynasty).— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) December 31, 2019
terrible in terms of the overall representation of women in politics.
Great in terms of women involvement in the #NRC_CAA_Protest #shethepeople2019
Blocks on the Road
When asked about the barriers women face while rising to eminent political positions, Calamur listed a few of them. Belief in their abilities to lead and manage is a major factor that hampers women's growth in politics. Moreover, often lack of support from their families drags them down and discourages their participation. Also, political parties on numerous occasions neglect the potential in women as leaders. A dearth of mentors and necessary guidance is a vital block on the path to becoming a leader at any level.
a) her own belief in her abilities to lead and manage— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) December 31, 2019
b) her family and support system (or lack of it)
c) mentors who can help you grow, and give you advice
d) parties who don't see women's potential as leaders#shethepeople2019 #twitterchat
Benefits of Women in Politics
A woman's idealism and management skills are exceptional and this would be a blessing for politics. Calamur says having more women in politics would give a different perspective to global issues. Additionally, it would ensure a different take on problem-solving. Moreover, “Academic literature tells us that diversity increases productivity,” she adds. More people mean more would be the pool of ideas to solve a problem.
it is a different perspective on issues. Maybe a different take on problem-solving.— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) December 31, 2019
Academic literature tells us that diversity increases productivity. #Shethepeople2019
Gender parity according to Calamur would boost GDP and similarly, equality would reflect its benefits in politics too. She further mentions the names of Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher as brilliant leaders who had clear paths for their nations and economies. Besides these, there are numerous other examples of successful female leadership.
it tells us gender parity would boost GDP.— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) December 31, 2019
there is no reason why this won't apply to politics.
Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margret Thatcher, were brilliant leaders
they had clear paths for their nations and economies#Shethepeople2019
Political Representation of Minority Women
Calamur says that unless there is a clear path for the growth of women leaders, the ambitions they have will remain unfulfilled. As a society, it is our moral duty to uplift those who are already in the political scenario and motivate more for welfare. From the inclusion of women in the lowest tier of Panchayat to nominating them as national leaders, it is essential to have decisions made by them at each level.
She thinks, “Women work well in toxic environments that are built on networks of 'hope and optimism’”
Protesting Female Students
The on-going national protest against CAA has seen a lot of group-level participation by women in unique ways. Female students from various prominent universities have come forward in solidarity to oppose a law that they think is against the basis of the Constitution. Calamur says that people in power need to understand that students need to be treated as adults with a clear view of the world. Furthermore, the government should listen to what they have to say. She adds that the present generation is less patriarchal and walks at par without prejudices because of the multiple influences of the modern world. This increases the chances of more women taking up leadership positions. She thinks, “Women work well in toxic environments that are built on networks of 'hope and optimism.’”
there tends to be an idealism about students, and all of us were in that phase, that sees how the world can be a better place. They don't have our cynicism.— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) December 31, 2019
I think women work well in non toxic environments that are built on networks of 'hope and optimism'. #Shethepeople2019
The media enthusiast said that India should draw inspiration from the Finnish government. “We should take baby steps by seeing if this form of government is possible at the large metro level. Mayoral election using proportional representation and, then see if it can evolve to all of India,” said Harini Calamur. Finland recently elected 34-year-old Sanna Marin as its Prime Minister.
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV