What the Prajwal Revanna case reveals about the struggles of women in politics


Prajwal Revanna, the member of parliament from Hassan, who lost his seat in the recent Lok Sabha election, is currently in judicial custody in connection with allegations that he committed  sexual crimes against at least tens of women in the district. While his alleged victims included domestic workers, government officials and actresses, among them are also women political workers in the region. One such worker was the second woman to file a formal complaint against Revanna.

As Johanna Deeksha found, her account and those of other workers in the state and elsewhere, reveal the particular vulnerabilities of women who work in politics. Though they interact frequently with men who wield immense power, there are no laws or systems that protect them from harassment, as there are in other professional spheres.

“While the POSH Act applies to people in all kinds of sectors, in politics there is no such thing as an internal complaints committee,” Deeksha said. “The women I spoke to said there was an urgent need to address sexual harassment in politics, but because they are fewer in number and have less power than the men, they are unable to do so.”

She added, “Women who do raise their voice are seen as ‘trouble makers’ and often lose their foothold.”
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Ajay Krishnan,

Senior Editor

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