Legislative assembly

CJI leader ES Bijimol talks about sexism in politics

Politician and ex-Kerala Legislative Assembly Member ES Bijimol has taken to social media to share the degradation and sexist remarks she faced from her male colleagues.

ES Bijimol, a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), wrote that the feminist stance that many political parties claim to have is “flat-out anti-feminist.” Bijimol said many men in politics would talk about the representation of women in politics and on the reserves, but they were actually “anti-women”.

Bijimol explained how the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), of which she is an executive member, decided that at least one woman should be considered for the position of CPI District Secretary and she was nominated.

ES Bijimol on sexism in politics

“But the degrading and moral attacks I faced just by touching this human-centered cocoon are indescribable,” Bijimol wrote. She claimed to have faced anti-feminist slurs from other political parties and the media after her appointment.

Bijimol added that the same politicians who said she did not require gender consideration for her nomination also insulted her in reference to her gender. According to her, the majority of men working in progressive politics would attempt to appear gender-neutral, but were “no different from those with personal conservative political views”.

ES Bijimol was a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for three terms and one of the members of the State Council of the Communist Party of India. Bijimol had worked as a teacher and political worker before entering politics.

Bijimol was elected President of the Panchayath bloc of Azhutha in 1995 and held the post until 2000. She was also a member of the Panchayath district from 2005 to 2006. Bijimol is best known for her participation in the protest against the issue from the Mullapperiyar dam.

In 2011, CPI leader ES Bijimol went on a hunger strike and demanded the dismantling of the Mullapperiyar dam. She was arrested after her health deteriorated and admitted to St John’s Mission Hospital in Kattappana. Mullaperiyar Agitation Council Chairman CP Roy fasted with Bijimol and was also arrested and admitted to hospital.

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