Where are the women?
In the numbers game, women have an edge over men in Kerala. To be precise, there are 1,058 women for every 933 men. But come election time and women become a negligible presence on the list of candidates.
Left, right or centre, parties seem quite alike when it comes to not giving tickets to women. Of 71 candidates announced so far by the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress, only five are women. The CPM has given eight seats out of 76. On CPI's list of 24, there are only two women. The BJP has given the most seats to women— 12. The Indian Union Muslim League draws a blank.
Ask leaders about this discrimination and the instant answer is there aren't enough women in the political arena. Women activists beg to differ. "It is nothing but male chauvinism," says a former Naxalite and social activist. "By hook or crook, politicians foil women's entry into the largely male bastion."