Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Women's Political Participation
By Dr. Shubhangi Rathi
Mahatma Gandhi has played an important role in the participation of women in political activities in India. Gandhi becomes uncompromising in the matter of women's rights. According to him woman is companion of man and gifted with equal rights of freedom and liberty. Woman is the better half of humanity, not the weaker sex. Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was the first man to encourage participation of women in politics. The Constitution of India guarantees equal rights to men and women as voters and citizens. Presently there are very few women Parliamentarians in India. It shows that Gandhi's ideas about women and their role in political life was a departure from those of the 20th century reformers. In the 21st century, it is clear that quotas for women in politics have not essentially ensured higher equality. For the success of democracy, active participation of women is essential. In this paper my focus is on participation of women in politics in India and Mahatma Gandhi's role in motivating large numbers of women into mainstream politics. As per modern theory, both men and women are integral parts of social, economic and political set up of a state. Keeping this background in mind, this paper seeks to focus on the share of women in the electoral process of India.