As the year 2017 comes to an end, we can’t help but notice the empowering changes that women have brought to the forefront, in all spheres of life. From media and entertainment, sports and athletic accolades, science, and even politics - women are constantly fighting all odds to rise to the top, proving time and again that there’s nothing they can’t do.
On the same vein, in what is considered a landmark event in the history of India, voters in Lucknow cast ballots on Sunday to elect their first woman mayor in the current civic body polls being held in Uttar Pradesh. All the parties have fielded female candidates after the Lucknow mayoral seat was reserved for women.
Approximately 23,27,900 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise across 2,201 polling booths, said Kaushal Raj Sharma, Lucknow District Magistrate, as enthusiastic voters queued outside polling stations, eager to participate in the once-in-a-century legislative process.
According to Indian Express, the Samajwadi Party has selected Meera Vardhan, kin of educationist Acharya Narendra Dev and the Congress has pitched Prema Awasthi, wife of the late former Congress legislator, Surendra Nath.’
Meera Vardhan ji,SP candidate for Lko Mayor,is a perfect representation of a Empowered woman,support her for a positive change in Lucknow. pic.twitter.com/ytTulFZ01c
“Better late than never. Contesting for first woman mayoral brings happiness. This transformation is certainly a positive move for women's empowerment” said Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate, Bulbul Godiyal to Times of India.
Lucknow has thrice sent a woman to the Lok Sabha as its representative with Sheila Kaul being elected in 1971, 1980 and 1984, and now the glass ceiling is duly set to be shattered again by electing its first woman mayor since the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act was notified in 1916.
If you needed anymore instances of iconic women branding their mark in Indian history, you should know that the state already has the distinction of having a first woman Chief Minister - Sucheta Kriplani, and Governor - Sarojini Naidu.
Popularly knows as the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu, was an active participant in the Indian freedom struggle, and went on to become the president of the Indian National Congress. She was elected Governor of Uttar Pradesh (then known as the United Provinces), from 1947 to 1949 - phew, what a revolutionary, indeed!
Kriplani, who played a major role during the 1942 Quit India Movement, occupied the chief minister’s office from 1963 to 1967. She was elected to the Constituent Assembly and was part of the sub-committee that drafted the Constitution, being one of the few women to do so, during the period. With so many feathers in that cap, I think we may have lost count.
Here’s to a successful phase of elections with strong women at its head, and more power to women around the world setting remarkable standards as role models to young girls!