Women empowerment has often been reduced to merely social media campaigns by groups and individuals that strive to get ahead of others. However, what inspires every Indian is the implementation of policies and ground-level efforts that benefit society. Women leaders are emerging in all walks of society, and the Southern state of Kerala has been at the forefront of women and transgender empowerment for an extended period. In a historic move, the Government of Kerala has appointed highly qualified women Collectors in eight of the fourteen districts in the state. The post of the district collector holds immense value and responsibility and is considered to be amongst the most gruesome posts amongst civil servants.
More importantly, the Kasaragod district, which is amongst the least developed regions in the state, will be headed by a female collector. The Northernmost district of Kerala will be governed by Ms Bhandari Swagat Ranveerchand, an IAS officer of the 2010 batch, who had secured the 69th rank in the civil service examination. The other collectors include Dr Adeela Abdulla (Wayanad), Mrunmai Joshi (Palakkad), Haritha V Kumar (Thrissur), Sheeba George ( Idukki), Dr P K Jayasree (Kottayam), Dr Divya S Iyer (Pathanamthitta), and Dr Navjot Khosa (Thiruvananthapuram ). Due to their expertise in the medical field, Dr Adeela Abdulla, Dr Navjot Khosa, and Dr Divya S Iyer have also been tasked with heading the COVID-19 management and prevention processes in their respective districts.
Besides, it is imperative to observe that the State paid more attention to their achievements and capabilities, rather than focusing on their gender alone. In other words, they need to be addressed as administrators who HAPPEN to be female, rather than FEMALE administrators, and their achievements shouldn’t be diminished to their gender alone.
Based on the data revealed by the Government of India, it was observed that the number of women that are clearing coveted UPSC Civil Services Examinations (CSE) is around 25%. In the 2016 recruitment year, only 282 women were present in the final list of 1,209 individuals. It is expected that the presence of district administrators that identify themselves as females will encourage more girls to strive hard to clear the exam and play a vital part in administrative affairs.