India's first-ever all-women political party -- the National Women's Party (NWP) -- was launched on Monday in Mumbai and it will contest half of the 545 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections.
The NWP, described as "a party of mothers", has been founded by a medico and social activist, (Dr) Shwetha Shetty, and will strive for 50 per cent reservation for women in the lower House.
"This party is a historic step in our mission to ensure equal representation for women in Parliament. Our ideology is to remove gender disparity in politics and thus create equal importance for females in the patriarchal Indian society," Ms Shetty told the media persons at the formal launch.
She pointed out that the battle to get reservations in parliament is now over two decades old, but the fact is that we continue in a society where most political decisions are taken by men, with women not having an equal say in parliament, thus diminishing the possibility of "women empowerment".
"With this initiative, the NWP plans to create an environment for full development of women which enables them to realise their full potential and help achieve the goals of empowerment," Ms Shetty said.
The NWP will soon launch a mobile app called "Mahila Rakshak" which would provide assistance to women in distress during emergencies, since "safety is of utmost importance considering the growing incidents of crimes against them".
The party will open a Youth Parliament which would be political school for women in every state in the country to provide academic and practical training and exhort them to become involved in the country's political process, said Ms Shetty.