Women eye seats in India's Parliament

But female candidates face hurdles in society that sees them as unsuitable for politics

While women's representation in politics is low, India does have female leaders, such as firebrand Mamata Banerjee (left, top) and Ms Mayawati, also known as the queen of Dalits, a caste which faces much discrimination. Mrs Richa Katiyar Kanaujia is
Mrs Richa Katiyar Kanaujia is contesting India's elections for the first time under the Right to Recall Party, which aims to enable citizens to recall under-performing representatives before their terms are up.ST PHOTO: NIRMALA GANAPATHY
While women's representation in politics is low, India does have female leaders, such as firebrand Mamata Banerjee (left) and Ms Mayawati, also known as the queen of Dalits, a caste which faces much discrimination.
While women's representation in politics is low, India does have female leaders, such as firebrand Mamata Banerjee (left) and Ms Mayawati, also known as the queen of Dalits, a caste which faces much discrimination. ST PHOTO: NIRMALA GANAPATHY

Mrs Richa Katiyar Kanaujia, a former scientist-turned-lawyer and now a politician, is brimming with excitement as she talks about contesting Indian parliamentary elections for the first time.

"Everyone is saying, why are you messing up your life by joining politics? I know this is a swamp. I am getting in with white clothes and when I come back, those are not going to be white," said Mrs Kanaujia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Women eye seats in India's Parliament'. Subscribe