Women underrepresented in state polls in trend continuing from 2012: Poll data | assembly-elections | Hindustan Times
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Women underrepresented in state polls in trend continuing from 2012: Poll data

Women remain underrepresented in the ongoing assembly elections, data from the Election Commission shows, following similar trends from the state elections that took place in 2012.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 09, 2017 20:33 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Women queue up with their election identity cards as they wait to cast their votes in Amritsar for the Punjab assembly election on February 4, 2017.
Women queue up with their election identity cards as they wait to cast their votes in Amritsar for the Punjab assembly election on February 4, 2017. (AP File Photo)

There are similarities not only in the voting pattern, but also in the representation given to women in the 2012 and 2017 five-state assembly polls, election commission data shows.

In the recently concluded assembly polls in five states, most parties did not give a substantial representation to female candidates, but women voters turned out in droves to elect their new legislators. A similar trend was observed in 2012.

The average voting percentage of women in 2012 was 63.38 % which has gone up to 63.53% in 2017.

Despite their claims of supporting women’s reservation in legislative assemblies and Parliament, most of the parties including the BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahuja Samaj Party gave women no more than 10-13% of the total tickets in both 2012 and 2017.

Five states that will elect new assemblies are Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur in the ongoing election process.

Hindustan Times looked at the data from the previous assembly polls in 2012 to see how women fared.

Goa gave tickets to just 10 women for the 40-seat assembly, Manipur to 15 (60 seats), Punjab to 93 (117 seats), Uttar Pradesh to 583 (403 seats) and Uttarakhand to 63 in its 71-seat assembly.

In comparison, the 2017 numbers show the number of women candidates in Goa rose to 18, but fell to 11 in Manipur, to 81 in Punjab, 58 in Uttarakhand and 445 in Uttar Pradesh.   

Read | UP elections: Women winning fewer seats, losing deposits in larger numbers

In 2012, only one candidate won the seat in Goa, three in Manipur, 14 in Punjab, 35 in Uttar Pradesh and five in Uttarakhand.

A sizeable number of these women candidates – between 77 to 82% – lost their deposits.

Jennifer A Monserrate of the Congress won with the highest margin of 1,151 votes among the women contestants, but was also the lowest margin winner in the overall contest.

Okram Landhoni Devi of the Congress from Manipur bagged 9871 votes; in Punjab Chandrajit Kaur Bajwa of the Congress received with 16156 votes, Rajmati of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh got 35635 votes, and the Congress’ Indira Hridyesh got 23583 in Uttarakhand – these women were the winners with the highest margins. 

For election reports from the ground, click here. For a breakdown of the data, click here.