You know desperation is as its peak when political parties resort to luring the most ignored community amongst the Indian electorate- women voters. Yes, Indian political parties have finally learned the value of women voters of this country. Which is why every party manifesto being hurled at us is heavy with promises being made to empower and uplift women. From passing the women’s reservation bill to making gender sensitisation courses an essential part of all educational institution’s curriculum and training modules of public offices, the promises are so bright, it hurts ones’ eyes to even look at them.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Indian political parties have finally learned the value of women voters of this country.
  • Every party is making hefty promises of women empowerment in its manifestos.
  • But should they begin patting their backs already?
  • Making promises isn’t even the job half done. It is just the start to winning our trust and vote for the next elections.

Is it finally happening? Will women not only decide to political future of this country, but also finally manage to change their own destiny for the better?

Is it finally happening? Will women not only decide the political future of this country, but also finally manage to change their own destiny for the better? If BJP, Congress and other political party manifestos are to be believed, any way we choose to go, the future of Indian women looks dazzling. So congratulations dear politicians, for finally realising the untapped potential of female electorate of India. But should you guys start patting your backs already? Is a mere promise of upliftment enough to proudly hail yourselves as benefactors of women? Or are these promises nothing but carrots being dangled in front of us, to lure us into the voting booths and bring you to power?

We know what’s happening here very well. Putting women’s issues in manifestos has become the new IT thing. Every party needs to have these glittery promises, it is a must have. And though promises can win you an election, it can’t win you women electorate’s loyalty. You see, it is just not enough to make promises, not anymore. Whoever comes into power better go through with them. We have a long history of enduring empty promises and false sincerity from politicians in this country. So if women feel a bit skeptical of this new-found political interest in their empowerment, can anyone seriously blame them?

We have a long history of enduring empty promises and false sincerity from politicians in this country. So can anyone seriously blame women for being skeptical?

Most women voters feel that this attention being showered on them may have little to do with genuine concern for them. Which is why women cannot afford to let these new shiny manifestos get to them. We need to keep asking questions, and demand clearer strategies which parties aim to implement regarding each and every promise they are making. Also, to hold the fate of politics in our hands, women need to keep turning up in big numbers to vote. I know we have seen significant rise in female voter turn out over decades. But there is still a big scope for improving these figures. Because then, empowerment won’t just be an agenda in 2019 elections.

The beautiful things about general elections is that they happen ever five years. The elected party will have to deliver on its promises. It’ll have to take initiations and set the ball rolling to make gender equality a reality in our society. It’ll have to usher in policies aimed to empower women, because if it doesn’t, it’ll lose both our trust and our vote. We will give the opportunity to deliver on those promises to the next batch of candidates.

Sooner or later, it will surely dawn on politicians in India that they cannot reduce women empowerment to a political agenda. It is a promise which if left undelivered, can change fates of parties and politicians in India.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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