In Srinagar, women who want a say will vote | india | Hindustan Times
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In Srinagar, women who want a say will vote

india Updated: Dec 13, 2014 19:01 IST
Azra Qaisar

During the campaigning for the fourth phase of elections, rallies by political parties in Srinagar, be it the PDP, the NC or for that matter even the BJP saw a significant presence of women.

As the city gears up to participate in polls today, some women are ready to give ballot a chance in constituencies where boycott calls have been the most effective in previous years.

Hindustan Times caught up with a few of them at one such rally in the heart of Srinagar.

"I am voting for change. I want my city to be safe for women to travel as late as one in the night," says Fatima. She is a social welfare worker.

While some women will have specific ends in mind while casting the vote, many will be using the chance for the overall betterment of the people. Farida, a homemaker, believes shortage of basic amenities like water and electricity is reason enough to give ballot a chance. "I think it's about time that our government started taking welfare seriously. The city needs better water, electricity and transport facilities."

Another homemaker, Khalida, wants the employment avenues for women get a boost. "I am a mother of three daughters and none of them is employed, in spite of being well educated. I think that by casting my vote there will be change," she says.

Age is not a factor when it comes to the enthusiasm among such women. "I am not well educated but I want the younger women to get a good education. Education helps in creating employment," says Khateeja who is in her seventies.

First time voters are however equally keen to cast the vote. "The flood that we witnessed has created many problems. It created poverty and made many homeless. Voting is a way to help in making a difference," said Arifat, a young voter.

Professor at the women's college in Srinagar, Romana Ashraf says more women are gearing up to vote as it is the only way to elect a voice for them.

"Elections are a way for women to get representation and elect a voice that addresses the issues concerning them," she said.