Dehradun: It is a classic case of women empowerment in Uttarakhand, if the participation of women voters in the democratic process is anything to go by. Poll patterns suggest that though women electors are fewer in number than men, a higher percentage of them have turned up at the polling booths in the last election in the state.
Women wait for their turn to vote at a polling booth in Dehradun. (HT File)
The number of male electors as per Assembly Elections 2012 data in Uttarakhand is 32,84,345 while that of female voters is 29,93,610. A close analysis of the data reveals that though fewer in numbers, the turnout of female voters has been higher than that of males in the state. While the aggregate poll percentage of women voters in 2012 Uttarakhand assembly elections was 68.84%, it was 65.74 % for men.
“High poll percentage is always a healthy sign, and the fact that female voters participated in bigger numbers than men during the last elections indicates an encouraging trend. We hope to witness a similar pattern in the upcoming polls,” Saujanya, joint chief electoral officer of Uttarakhand, told the Hindustan Times.
Barring two districts (Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar), 11 out of 13 districts in Uttarakhand reported a higher turnout of women voters . Over all, around 11 lakh men voters did not turn up out of the total number of male electors while the figure for absentee women voters was 9 lakh from all districts.
Sujata, member-secretary of Uttarakhand State Commission for Women, said, “It’s very heartwarming to know about women’s greater participation in elections. It clearly explains how women are more aware about their voting rights than men in our state.”
It is worth recalling that a special drive was also carried out in the district by the Dehradun election office recently to increase the number of women voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.