In Pune civic bodies, women outnumber men

Despite outnumbering men in the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies, women corporators are an unhappy lot.

Reason: they have not been given a free hand in decision-making process. They might have a point, but officials and activists, argue that women corporators are themselves to blame for their plight as many of them o not actively participate in raising public issues inside civic general body meetings or even on public platforms.

Following the state government's decision to reserve 50 per cent wards for women, as many as 78 women corporators made it to the 152-member PMC general body in the last elections. In PCMC, 65 women corporators were elected in the house of 128 corporators.

"Things have hardly changed in local politics as men take a call on all important issues and women corporators have to accept that," said Vaishali Marathe, chairperson of Women and Child Welfare Committee.

"The civic administration does not take us seriously and it can be made out from the poor attendance in the committee meetings," Marathe said, adding, the members had to take up the issue with the municipal commissioner and threaten to resign if the situation prevailed.

PMC Congress corporator and state Congress chief Kamal Vyavhare said that there is not much attention given to the good work done by us.

"We need more publicity to highlight our work. The lack of recognition for good work is not encouraging to women who are performing well in politics," she said.

However, former Pune mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale said if a person has the capability then no one can stop them from making their presence felt. "The women corporators have to blame themselves for their situation. Most women corporators are there because the ward has become reserved and male member cannot contest. Thus, they are incapable of taking decision and go by what they are told," she said.

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