Unlike the funny forwards which you get in your inbox every now and then, displaying awkward photos from India. This one is so serious. Officially, India now has its All-Female Political Party!Yeah, I read it in the news this morning and was as surprised as you are. Finally, a political party whose members are only women. You can read all about it here and here.
The new political party is called "United Women Front"(UWF), and its leaders advocate equal rights for women in a country which has the second highest population in the world, 50% of which are females. They aim to provide a "clean" (word used by the UWF president) alternative to Indian male-dominated political parties. "Unlike other parties, we will not buy freebies and alcohol for voters," says United Women Front president Suman Krishan Kant.
I wish them best luck in their mission. However, thinking about going down that road freaks me out. We certainly need to have more female political power in Egypt. Members of the UMF complain that women in the Indian parliament are only 8.8% According to this, we should really be ashamed of our 2.9%. But the thing remains that allowing different groups to adopt seperate political agendas is not the best way to fix problems. It's a huge mistake. If women can have their own political party, then we can't deprive the Muslim Brotherhood from having their own, for instance. We will be creating fractures according to gender, race (Nubians and Beduins will rush to that too), and religion. The spirit and essence of equality would be lost forever. We'll be creating a new and more complex web of hierarchies.
It's not only about the number of women participating in political decision making, it is most importantly a question of effeciency. If women are merely used inside the parliament and ministries as decoration, then more decoration will just add more shame. Because those women who would be supposedly "in power" would draw a negative example of female ability for action. So, yes, I dream of the day when women would occupy 50% of the parliament seats, a true percentage that would then reflect their active participation in all aspects of life. But I wouldn't like it to be through a political conflict.
There should be more active women organization. Their work should be felt. They should reach out for all women, all ages, all standards. We don't need any more decoration. We don't need any more sweet talk about the status of women and how they are honored. We don't need Mothers' Day when workplaces don't offer a daycare service for the children of their female employees. We don't need the roses in Valentine, when we are throne with spears from men staring at us and harassing us in the streets. We want to be respected as we deserve to be. Political parties can't buy us that.