Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has expressed her anguish at the violence against women despite the country living a 70-year-long independence, but she said that ‘wheel of history, at its most crucial moments, has often been turned by women’.
Women still suffer the brunt of discrimination and gender inequality, even violence – Sonia Gandhi
Stating that Indian women have fought against poverty, disease, discrimination, and patriarchy, she rued that they continue to be the casualties of paternalistic traditions that dominate many of our communities.
Speaking at the 2nd Eurasian Women’s Forum at St. Petersburg, Russia, Sonia told women leaders from across the world that inequality has been imposed on women in the name of tradition within the family and community.
“That needs to change. We cannot accept recurring mistreatment, as a way of life.”
Sonia exhorted people to work for creating a climate where women are given an equal share in the workplace and in public office. “We will not be able to reverse this reality overnight. But it is my hope that in alliance with progressive male counterparts, we can help open up this space,” she said.
Sonia also said that laws alone do not change the world. “It is far more important to change mindsets. This is the challenge before us.”
Lauding the women power, the Congress leader reminded people that wheel of history, at its most crucial moments, has often been turned by women, adding, “It is also clear that the frontiers of the future of humanity will also be extended by women, who are already playing an influential role.”
It is interesting to note that Sonia Gandhi had the privilege of serving for several years as the President of India’s largest and oldest political organisation, the Indian National Congress.
At this juncture when her party, presently under the command of her son Rahul Gandhi, is gearing up for the ensuing general elections in India, there is a cry from within the Congress that Sonia’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi be given the charge to lead India.
The next elections are due early 2019 which the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party aims to win, even bettering its 2014 performance that helped the party capture power, defeating the Congress which ruled India for two repeat terms – from 2004-2009 and again from 2009-2014.
Congressmen believe Priyanka Gandhi may replace her mother Sonia as Congress candidate from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, in 2019 general elections. Priyanka has earlier been seen working from behind the curtains in Rae Bareli as well as Amethi (represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi), but she has not taken a game changing role yet.
Congress workers intermittently scale up their spirited campaigns to force Priyanka Gandhi to show her mettle and stop the winning spree of Bharatiya Janata Party that boasts of creating a ‘Congress-free India’. Meanwhile, the latest slogan shouting going on in favour of presently low-profile Priyanka Gandhi is – Indira ka khoon, Priyanka coming soon.