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Include women in Delhi Cabinet, National Commission of Women tells Arvind Kejriwal

In a statement, the women’s panel chief said that providing equal political opportunities for women is intrinsic to the idea of equality itself.

Include women in Delhi Cabinet, National Commission of Women tells Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal | PTI

The National Commission for Women on Thursday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding the inclusion of women legislators in his new Cabinet, PTI reported.

Kejriwal, who returned to power with a resounding victory in the Assembly elections held on February 8, does not have a single woman in his council of seven ministers, even though eight women from his party were elected legislators.

Expressing concern about the gender disparity within the Delhi government, panel chairperson Rekha Sharma requested the chief minister to induct a couple of women, or at least one, in his Cabinet.

In a statement, the women’s panel chief said that providing equal political opportunities for women is intrinsic to the idea of equality itself. All citizens are supposed to be given equal representation and leadership irrespective of their gender, she added.

The Aam Aadmi Party had fielded nine female candidates, out of whom only one, Sarita Singh, was defeated in the elections. The winning candidates included key faces such as Atishi and Rakhi Birla, among others. In 2015, the party had fielded six women candidates, all of whom had won the elections.

Atishi, who won the election from the Kalkaji constituency, has served as a key advisor to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. She has been credited for bringing key reforms in the education sector and working towards the transformation of public education in the national Capital.

Ahead of the Assembly elections, women’s issues was one of the central themes of the party’s campaign. In June, Kejriwal announced free travel for women on the Delhi Metro, Delhi Transport Corporation buses and cluster buses. He said the move was aimed at women’s safety and giving them access to modes of transport that have higher fares.

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