Favourable outcomes in literacy, life expectancy and political awareness do not translate into political representation for women in Kerala state:
As the 14th legislative assembly of Kerala starts functioning, Kerala is yet to get its first woman chief minister. In an assembly with 140 MLAs and with a demography of 1,084 females per 1,000 men, the number of women MLAs in the state has never crossed to double digits.
Kerala takes a lot of pride in the high literacy, high life expectancy, and the political awareness of its female population. Despite this, the representation of women in the state assembly and Parliament continues to be poor. In every general election, Kerala sends 20 MP’s to Parliament, and the state has 9 seats in the Rajya Sabha. But since independence, only nine women - Annie Mascarene, Suseela Gopalan, Bhargavi Thankappan, Savithri Lakshmanan, AK Premajam, P Sathi Devi, CS Sujatha, PK Sreemathy, and TN Seema - have represented the state in both houses of Parliament. The shameful numbers make one question whether gender equality in Kerala exists only in statistics.