BMC polls: Muslim women corporators make history in Mumbai
Of the 29 Muslims who were elected as corporators from across the city in the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election, 18 were women — the highest figures in the history of the civic body polls.Updated: Feb 28, 2017 01:06 IST
Of the 29 Muslims who were elected as corporators from across the city in the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election, 18 were women — the highest figures in the history of the civic body polls.
The number makes for 62% of the corporators from the community, which says that the women have started making a mark in the electoral fray.
Take the case of Meher Haider, who won from Andheri. Wife of senior Congress leader, Mohseen Haider, Meher is a fashion designer by profession. When asked if she would be a rubber stamp for her husband, Meher shot back, “By the grace of God, I am well educated and competent to take my own decision,” said Meher.
According to her, having a woman as an elected representative will work more to the advantage for the city and her party. “Women are more sensitive and hard working,” she quipped.
Rukhsana Siddique, who won from the Govandi slum pocket on a Samajwadi party ticket, felt that education should be the priority. She will make that her aim when she starts working for her ward, she said.
“Our children suffer from lack of education and I am going to change that,” said Siddique. “Just like every house needs a woman, the city needs them too. It needs more women to hold the baton.”
Afreen Javed Shaikh, who was elected from ward no 224 in Colaba, feels that more women are needed in the political field for betterment of the city.
“Women can compete with men in every sphere of life. Politics is no different,” said Shaikh.
Dr Saeeda Khan, who was elected from Kurla, is a medical practitioner. She completed a law course last year so she could understand the workings of the BMC better. A second term corporator from the NCP, Khan has played a vital role in the health committee of the BMC.
Currently, the Muslim community suffers from issues like lack of education as well as jobs. For years, the representation of the community’s women in politics has been negligible.
According to Dr Azimuddin Sayed, president, Movement for Human Welfare, there is now a gradual change that the community is going through.
“We see an increasing number of Muslim women coming out and actively participating in various activities,” said Sayed.