New Delhi: At a meet to discuss making parliaments gender-sensitive, organised in the Parliament House, many women parliamentarians were conspicuous by their absence.
India is hosting the 7th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament on Gender-Sensitive Parliaments organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The two-day event held in the Parliament House was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday and is attended by women speakers and delegates from many countries.
While there were a number of delegates and parliamentarians from abroad, there was abysmal number of Indian women parliamentarians present at the inaugural function attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Prominent women parliamentarians from various political parties were absent, among them Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
Seated in the front rows were Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi.
"It is a function for making parliaments across the world more gender-sensitive and most of the women parliamentarians have not turned up," a senior leader from a Left party quipped.