CHENNAI: For the emancipation of Dalits, it is essential that more Dalit women step into the power corridors of politics, said Dalit activist Ruth Manorama who had contested on a JD (S) ticket in the 2014 general elections, on Monday. She was speaking as part of the panel discussion on ‘Dalit women in politics: Past, Present and Future’, organised by the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch and The Blue Club, an organisation that seeks to give voice to women from marginalised communities through films.“Women, especially those who have been involved in social justice movements, should be given tickets to contest, in whichever party they belong to,” said Ruth.
She added that the State government should allocate a special fund for women candidates.
Academician-activist Sujatha Surepally, who is to contest from the Chennur reserved constituency in Telangana, representing the BSP, said that as a single Dalit woman in the fray, she has been constantly subjected to character assassination and vicious trolling. Semmalar Jebaraj, sociologist and Dalit activist, stressed the need for consolidation of power as far as Dalit women are concerned.
Dalit activists Cynthia Stephen, Asha Kowtal, along with Dalit transgender activist Grace Banu, Dalit and disability rights activist Aiswarya Rao and Dalit writer and activist Bhavani Ilavenil, were also part of the panel.