Unfortunate That Delhi Cabinet Has No Woman: Shiela Dikshit

Terming it unfortunate that Kejriwal does not have a woman cabinet member, Shiela Dikshit stressed on the need for a sustained campaign by women to establish their identity.

Published: 09th March 2016 01:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2016 01:19 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Terming it unfortunate that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal does not have a single woman cabinet member, his predecessor Shiela Dikshit today stressed on the need for a sustained campaign by women to "establish their identity".

"When I was CM, there was one woman member in my cabinet but unfortunately there is none in the present Delhi government. There is more of talk but less of action," she said.

She was speaking at an event organised by the Press Club of India here to mark International Women's Day.

"Today women have reached top levels and are second to none in the country in various institutions like banks etc, there are laws that favour women and there is representation in the Parliament and in legislatures but the proportion of women being represented is still not enough," Dikshit said.

Quoting a UN study, which showed that 75 per cent of the world's work was done by women, the former Chief Minister said the situation even in some modern societies in Europe and Australia was such that women were still paid less than men for the same work.

"Somewhere we have to raise our voices for justice. We have to carry on a battle and we have to prove ourselves and rather than being discriminated we have to carry out a campaign against it," she said.

Dikshit was part of a recent national conference of legislators which discussed revival of Women's Reservation Bill aimed at giving 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

At present only 12 per cent of total members in Parliament are women.

Dikshit said the onus lies on women to fight and campaign against discrimination prevalent in society.

Citing success stories of the late former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and other women premiers in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, she said, "As long as discrimination against women exists in society till that time we have to struggle and am quite sure that the struggle will be successful."

She also said that the issue may be more "psychological" as men are reluctant to give women equal representation "they would have 50 per cent more competition".

"We have always been in favour of representation. I feel disappointed because frankly speaking talk of this has been going on since the time of Rajiv Gandhi some 30 years ago. I feel the kind of determination and courage that is required by the men (to pass the Bill) frankly I don't think they have it," Dikshit said.

Meanwhile, the former chief minister also said that it was unjust for certain temples to deny entry to women.

"There should be no restrictions on entry. In the olden times there were various superstitions in society about women that they were unclean etc but in present times it is not correct to say something like that. If a god is asked he will say that there is no difference between men and women."

Dikshit was sharing a stage with actress Salma Agha and her daughter Sasha Agha and a woman leader from Azamgarh.


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