They have proved this in the BMC not just with their superior numbers, but also with their sheer performance.
Mumbai: Women are here to stay in city politics. They have proved this in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not just with their superior numbers (there are more women corporators than male corporators), but also with their sheer performance. Defying all initial apprehensions ever since 121 female corporators were elected as opposed to 106 male corporators in 2012, women corporators have kept improving their performance with each year. In fact, in some of the categories they have outshone their male counterparts.
A quick glance at the BMC data in the last four years shows that the women corporators, who were initially seen playing second fiddle to male corporators, slowly started getting better. So much so that the overall performance of women corporators (57.62 per cent), which was inferior to their male counterparts (59.66 per cent) in 2013, improved gradually and by 2016 they were able to beat them by an impressive 62.80 %–61.11 % margin.
The Maharashtra Assembly in 2011 passed a bill giving 50 percent reservation to women in municipal corporations, district councils, municipal councils and village councils. It meant half of the seats, perhaps even more if women also get elected from general seats, in the BMC would be occupied by women.
Earlier, there was 33 per cent reservation for women corporators. In the BMC polls in 2012, 121 female corporators got elected as against 106 male in the 227-member house. There were early apprehensions over whether women corporators would be able to do justice to their majority by performing well. Going by the civic data, they have proved those fears wrong.
Women corporators have outshone their male counterparts in several categories in the BMC house. In the category of highest number of questions related to civic complaints, NCP’s Saeeda Khan (274) tops the chart, followed by Anant Nar, Shiv Sena, (189), Ajanta Yadav, Congress (176), Anuradha Pednekar, SS, (167) and Ramashish Gupta, Congress (103).
“There is a definite improvement in the performance of women corporators in BMC,” said Milind Mhaske, project director of Praja Foundation. “Their participation in civic proceedings is also impressive. It shows that given an opportunity, women can perform equally well with their male counterparts in politics. This is a good sign for democracy.”