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Globalization and politics

Raksha Kumar
Freelance Multimedia Journalist
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piqer: Raksha Kumar
Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Solitude Of Female Politicians In South Asia

A leading Indian intellectual, Mukul Kesavan, says that it is an unwritten job requirement for a female politician in India to be single. Because a female politician should not (by implication) be sexually active. 

Indira Gandhi, who became India's prime minister, and Nandini Satpathy, Sheila Dixit, Vasundhara Raje, Uma Bharti, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa Jayaram and Kumari Mayawati, who served terms as provincial chief ministers, were unmarried or separated or widowed at the moment of their ascension and through their time at the top.

While sexual potency is looked at as a strength in a man, in a woman it becomes her greatest weakness. 

Not only that, the rule apparently applies to all of South Asia. The article has many, many examples.

Another important point that Kesavan makes is that a married South Asian woman is looked at as a puppet in the hands of her husband. She doesn't have an agency of her own, regardless of how independent she is. 

While aspects of South Asia's patriarchy might be different from patriarchies in the West, the fact remains that women are not trusted with power. This powerful piece makes several significant points to illustrate this point. 

The Solitude Of Female Politicians In South Asia
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