Kamarunnisa Anwar was told that women of Muslim league do not make public speeches before men.

Living in dark ages Kerala politician stopped from making public speech as she is a woman
news Women Friday, November 18, 2016 - 08:52

“In the history of the Muslim league, it has not been so that women spoke at a gathering of men.”

This is what a woman leader of the Muslim league in Kerala was told, as she rose from her chair on the dais at a public event, to walk towards the mic.

President of women’s wing of Indian Union Muslim League, Kamarunnisa Anwar had been invited to a convention held by the party in Kozhikode recently.

This was a rare honour, she admits to The News Minute.

“Women members don’t generally get invited for such huge public events. I was happy that they decided to invite me this time and was hoping that I would be able to speak at the gathering. I was seated on the dais with the other male leaders, but wasn’t asked to make a speech even as the event was drawing to a close at 10 pm,” Kamarunnisa said.

As she walked towards the mic to enquire about the delay, league’s state secretary MC Mayin Haji got up, only to remind her about the party’s history that did not allow women speaking before men.

In a video clipping that is being circulated on social media, Mayin Haji could be heard saying this, but Kamarunnisa’s response is not decipherable.

Not denying having made the remarks, Mayin Haji told NDTV,

"Women do not address public gatherings. Women are given much more respect than men, the reason why we don't encourage them to be part of processions or late night events.”

Meanwhile, Kamarunnisa Anwar says she does not wish to escalate the matter further.

“No doubt his words pained me, but I have no complaints against him. I don’t want to create problems within the party,” she said.

During assembly elections this May, she had come down heavily on the party for not fielding her or any other women members, even going to the extent of calling out the “insecurity of men”.

“That’s right…I have been in the party for the last twenty years but have not been able to win any election. That’s probably the reason why the party did not want me to contest this time, but I hoped that if not me, they would at least let other women members contest.”

However, Khamarunnisa has now decided to "forgive" Mayin Haji for his words. In her defense, she says that she was asked to-and readily agreed- to be "a good female member" when she joined the party years ago. 

"After all, change cannot come overnight. This time they invited me to the gathering, if not to hear me speak. But tomorrow they might do that too. Who knows? I have no complaints about this time, whatsoever."  

Also read: Kamarunnisa Anwar lambasts Muslim League for not fielding a single woman

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