Shakti – “Political Power to Women” nationwide “Call Women MLAs” campaign on 21st January 2019, 7 pm – 9.30 pm reaching out simultaneously to 340 women MLAs across India, a historic first as a nationwide outreach to elected representatives.
This India-wide unique campaign had volunteers, both women and men from Shakti, various individual volunteers and groups across the country reach out to elected Members of Lesgislative Assemblies of ALL states. Callers asked the women MLAs if they wanted more female Members of Parliament and would request their parties to give more tickets to women candidates this Lok Sabha elections? Male MLAs were not called.
70 years after a democratic republic, with a meagre ~11% women only in Parliament, least represented even when amounting to 50% of the population. This campaign was run to put pressure on all parties through their own women leaders to proportionally increase the considerations for women in distributing Lok Sabha tickets.
Over 500 callers including farmers, women in corporations, students, women in IT, social services workers in child trafficking, women in media, doctors, trainers, researchers, civil society activists etc. participated in the campaign. This consisted of individual inspired volunteers and many groups across India.
A list of state-wise women MLA contacts and sample call scripts in various languages from the website: politicalshakti-india.org, was provided for the callers to engage in dialling women MLAs for 2.5 hours.
Women MLAs from Jammu & Kashmir through Tamil Nadu and Sikkim to Punjab were reached, spread across 22 of the 29 states.
Tara Krishnaswamy, the co-founder of Shakti on the success of the campaign said, “These women are leaders in their respective parties and their emphatic support for
Jothilakshmi, Shakti co-ordinator in Tamil Nadu, and an activist with Voice of People said: “We are not begging for kindness from parties through these calls. We are claiming what is rightfully ours and seeking to claim seats in Parliament that are rightfully ours. This is a great experience in participatory democracy.”
D(U) MLA Ranju Geeta said her party is already working on it. She heading the wing responsible for selection. She suggested
Aparna Sengupta, Jharkhand ML from AIFB said, “Women are equals with men in so many ways and deserve equal representation in the Parliament. I will surely raise it.”
Independent MLA Bebi Kumari from Bihar said she has protested in the House demanding 50% representation for women and will do it for parties to give 50% Lok Sabha tickets to women too!”
Shakti is a non partisan inclusive platform of women across who have joined hands, regardless of region, caste, creed, ideology and setting aside our differences with single minded objective to get more women elected as MLAs and MPs. Shakti calls upon all men and women that believe in fair representation in politics to join us on bit.ly/shakti-india