Most PU girls poll-wary; V-P now reduced to ‘dummy post’

Every year, the vice-president position in the students' council is reserved for women. However, vice president does not hold any decision making powers in the Council and is usually just a 'dummy post'. In the past three years, only ABVP has nominated a candidate for the post

About 75 per cent of the students at Panjab University, who elect the students' council, are women. However, the representation of women in the council has always remained poor.

With just over 25 days left for the students' body elections, all parties have geared up their election campaign. Party leaders and supporters can be seen wearing party stickers and protesting against various issue pertaining to the university. However, among the group protests held at PU, this year, not a single girl could be spotted.

Every year, the position of vice-president in the students' council is reserved for women. However, the vice president does not hold any decision making power in the council and is usually just a 'dummy post'. In the past three years, only ABVP has nominated a female candidate for the post of president in 2009.

In recent years, Simranjit Kaur Gill is the only female leader who has gained prominence at the University. Last year, she quit Students' Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) to become an NSUI member. At present, she is the general secretary of NSUI. Gill alleges that as a part of SOPU, her political ambitions were stifled citing her "being a girl" as the reason. She said she was not allowed to participate actively in any of the party's initiatives. "They would say that a president needs to handle late night students' fights, which cannot be handled by a girl as they can turn violent," she added.

Simranjit says that being politically active has its own disadvantages, which also discourages many girls from assuming important positions. She claims that she received threats from boys after she changed her party and was at the receiving end of much character assassination.

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