Bijimol flags gender bias in CPI, Prasad refutes it

In a clear indication of the factional feud in the CPI, senior party leader E S Bijimol has openly alleged gender discrimination and male domination in the party.

Published: 02nd September 2022 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2022 06:40 AM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a clear indication of the factional feud in the CPI, senior party leader ES Bijimol has openly alleged gender discrimination and male domination in the party. However, senior leaders including Agriculture Minister P Prasad and former Idukki secretary K K Sivaraman have rejected her allegations.

Close on the heels of losing the contest for party Idukki district secretary post, she came out with a strongly worded Facebook post alleging a strong anti-women sentiment within CPI. In an apparent reference to CPI, Bijimol said many political parties, which claim to be highly progressive, maintain a regressive anti-women stance.

At the CPI district conference two days ago, Bijimol had contested to the post of Idukki secretary, but lost to K Salim Kumar. Referring to the elections, Bijimol said a majority of those who make tall proclamations on gender equality and significance of women in politics and indulge in discussions for women’s reservation in Parliament and assemblies have little actual awareness on such matters. Taking a leaf out of her personal experience, Bijimol said the humiliation that she has faced for being a women from so-called ‘ethical politicians’ will  remain a trauma for her.

“Most men in progressive political field appear to be gender-neutral, but deep inside at a personal level, they are no different from those maintaining a conservative political stance,” she said in the FB post. The former legislator said women politicians like her will have a lot of similar experiences to share. “It’s a fact that women can be a participant in administration only though legal reservation.

That’s why my party insisted on 15% reservation for women in the leadership. It’s in this backdrop that the NFIW (National Federation of Indian Women) Kerala unit took a strong stance that at least one woman should be considered for the party district secretary post. The kind of degrading moral attacks that I faced the moment I touched that male-centric cocoon is beyond description,” she said.

Senior leader and minister Prasad, however, rejected the allegations. “There are no issues related to women representation in the Communist party. The CPI has ensured sufficient participation of women in all party units including district councils,” Prasad said. He hadn’t,  however, seen Bijimol’s FB post, he added. Senior leader Sivaraman too rejected Bijimol’s allegations.



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