Public Interest Litigation

Though the Constitution of India guarantees equal rights to all citizens, irrespective of race, gender, religion, and other considerations, and the "directive principles of state policy" as stated in the Constitution obligate the Government to provide to all citizens a minimum standard of living, the promise has not been fulfilled.

The greater majority of the Indian people have no assurance of two nutritious meals a day, safety of employment, safe and clean housing, or such level of education as would make it possible for them to understand their constitutional rights and obligations. Indian newspapers abound in stories of the exploitation -- by landlords,factory owners, businessmen, and the state's own functionaries, such as police and revenue officials -- of children, women, villagers, the poor, and the working class.

Though India's higher courts and, in particular, the Supreme Court have often been sensitive to the grim social realities, and have on occasion given relief to the oppressed, the poor do not have the capacity to represent themselves, or to take advantage of progressive legislation. In 1982, the Supreme Court conceded that unusual measures were warranted to enable people the full realization of not merely their civil and political rights, but the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights, and in its far- reaching decision in the case of PUDR [People's Union for Democratic Rights] vs. Union of India [1982 (2) S.C.C. 253], it recognized that a third party could directly petition, whether through a letter or other means, the Court and seek its intervention in a matter where another party's fundamental rights were being violated.

Can Women Govern Politics

The answer to that question can be found in the historical record.

From September 23, 1953 to July 7, 1954,Sühbaataryn Yanjmaa acted as Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Great Khural of Mongolia making her the first women political ruler in contemporary history (except for queens).

The first elected female political ruler as well as the first woman president in Europe was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, president of Iceland from August 1, 1980 to August 1, 1996
Since then there have been several women presidents. Currently, Mary McAleese is president of Ireland while Helen Clark is the prime minister of New Zealand. She became the second woman prime minister on December 10, 1999 when she succeeded Jenny Shipley.

Maria Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been the president of the Philippines since January 20, 2001. She is the second women president of the Philippines

Luísa Dias Diogo is the Prime minister of Mozambique since February 17, 2004. Angela Merkel is the Federal Chancellor of Germany and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the president of Liberia since January 16, 2006. She is Africa's first elected head of State.

Michelle Bachelet Jeria is the president of Chile from March 11, 2006. Louise Lake-Tack is the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda since July 17, 2007 while Yuliya Tymoshenko has served as the prime minister of Ukraine twice, from January 24 to September 8, 2005 and again since December 18, 2007.

So many women in places of power thoughout the world shows that women can succeed in politics. They can govern and do it well. Mary McAleese, president of Ireland, had so much support for a second term that she stood unopposed. No one was willing to bear the cost of competing in an election that would be very difficult to win.

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