BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Friday said economic or professional self-sufficiency was not enough and it was political empowerment that would be the most important step for the upliftment of women.
“As far as political empowerment is concerned, it is the real empowerment because it provides authority. I often say that an IT professional or a professor may not have the same power as that of a female peon of a lady SP,” Ms. Swaraj said.
“We have known IT professionals who hand over their salaries to their mothers-in-law or others who are abused. But a lady police officer’s women peon may not have to face all this as troubling her can lead the culprit to jail. This is political empowerment. For us women in politics, our authority moves forward to our women workers and empowers them,” Ms. Swaraj said here.
Both education and economic independence are important but “political empowerment is a higher form of empowerment,” Swaraj said at a workshop organised by BJP Mahila Morcha and Good Governance Cell.
There was a bias in political establishments that women were not winnable candidates, which several examples have defied, she said.
Without reservations in state legislatures or Parliament, women will not be proportionally represented, she added.
Most women who were in important positions in Indian politics today had either inherited these or were there due to a tragedy, the BJP leader said.
Ms. Swaraj also said in local bodies and panchayats of the states ruled by BJP governments, the reservation for women had been raised to fifty percent.
She also condemned the practice of female foeticide, despite a legislation against it, due to the prevalence of prejudices in the society.