TNN Jul 16, 2012, 03.35AM IST
BANGALORE: Twenty-eight women entered the portals of the premier Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore on Sunday, resolving to capitalize on an opportunity provided by the B-school’s innovative women’s leadership programme.
The 10-week India-Women in Leadership Programme of the Centre for Public Policy, IIM-Bangalore and Centre for Social Research, New Delhi, was inaugurated by Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva.
The 28 candidates, selected after several rounds of interviews, hail from different parts of the country. The course requires them to spend considerable time at their home-constituencies to get a perspective on governance.
It emphasizes on policy, politics and practical aspects and also provides insight into ideology and gender issues. The course participants will spend a week each in New Delhi and Singapore, and interact with top politicians including the prime minister, apart from the learning sessions at IIM-B.
Shehla Rashid, a computer science student from Kashmir, is one of the 28 candidates. “Political space for Muslim women in India is confined. Most are actively discouraged from pursuing politics by their families as well as society. However, I feel that after this course, I can get into mainstream politics and work to change this view. This is the main reason why I took it up,” she said.
“I plan to get into active politics some day. After finishing the course, I plan to work on my leadership skills and assist politicians to learn the trade before jumping into the battlefield,” she added.
Nagashree, an advocate, is a zilla parishad member from Chamarajnagar. She plans to utilize the training to learn public and communication skills and better her public image. “I am expecting this training to make me a better woman leader,” she said.
Inaugurating the conference, Alva said participation of women in politics is a pre-Independence reality but that hasn’t in anyway brought about equality or justice to women.
“Political parties and men at the helm consider women as mere vote-banks. They encourage women to mobilize people to vote for the party but when it comes to giving women tickets for elections, they have various reasons not to allow the so-called weaker sex to contest,” she said.
Young aspiring women leaders need to remain grounded in the party and its structure which is the only way they can win elections. “Women need to have support from the party and its voters to be able to win elections,” she said.