Bettiah: The case of women mukhiyas in Bihar once again proves that women’s empowerment remains mostly on paper.
Women are definitely entering every sphere that was once considered a male bastion – flying aircraft, driving auto-rickshaws and becoming soldiers. But according to officials, a large number of women public representatives are there only on paper.
“Of 405 panchayats in East Champaran and 315 in West Champaran, over 50 per cent seats have come to be occupied by women,” a government official said. But according to East Champaran district magistrate Raman Kumar, a majority of these women was elusive in reply and evasive in public postures. “Their husbands are at the forefront in public life,” said Raman. “The women are either accompanied by their husbands or the husbands drop in for meetings or workshops.”
West Champaran is no better. “Though everyone has an equal say in democracy, we can judge our rights and duties if we are qualified,” said Bettiah Nagar Parishad chairperson Garima Devi Sikaria, a diploma holder in interior designing from Varanasi. “How can one become the voice of the masses, if we do not have a voice ourselves,” she asked, disapproving quota in public life.
Courtesy: The Telegraph