New Delhi: Municipal corporations in the city may have reserved 50 percent of their seats for women but that has not made life easier for the elected representatives from the fairer sex who continue to battle gender stereotypes and discrimination at work.
Women councillors, cutting across party lines, said their male counterparts and officials believe they are "incompetent".
"There is no doubt that men feel insecure about women taking up important positions in such large numbers. Also, the corporation officers take their direction much lightly when compared to those of men," said BJP councillor and former mayor Rajni Abbi.
Rekha Gupta, chairman of the Education Committee of North Delhi Municipal Corporation echoed her views.
"A lot of men think women are not capable enough, it is part of their mentality. The officers also face an insecurity complex, thinking why a woman is giving them direction. We face this kind of situation almost daily," Gupta said.
Outlining the complexities women face being in politics, she said, "If we spend too much time with colleagues, we will be linked with them. If women take their husbands along, people say her husband does all the work. If she goes alone then the talk is about how she roams without any one by her side."
Abbi highlighted even more problems her counterparts face while on the job.
"Women still find it difficult to get information about various funds or schemes as compared to men. Male councillors and officers act as if they do not want women to learn more than what is absolutely necessary," she added.
Most recently, Abbi and other councillors had protested against the alleged misbehaviour of a male councillor with a female colleague during the House meeting of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on January 21.
Since then, marshals have stood outside the House during every meeting. But that is not a solution the women are too happy with.