The final polling percentage for five seats in Ghaziabad district stood at 55.8% with total turnout of men at 56.43% and women, at 55.01%, which has increased marginally from women voter turnout of 54.47% registered in 2012.
In 2012 assembly elections, 4,69,913 of 8,62,742 women cast their votes. In 2017, 6,02,788 of 10,95,832 women in Ghaziabad district exercised their franchise.
“Although the percentage shows a marginal increase, the number of women who turned out to vote is still encouraging, considering that the number of women voters has also increased substantially since 2012. There have been a lot of efforts from the district administration in this regard. We carried out publicity campaigns and also roped in school children for the events,” Gyanendra Singh, additional district magistrate, Ghaziabad, said.
The women voter turnout was recorded at 59.96%, 58.45%, 48.94%, 51.86% and 62.92% for the five seats of Loni, Murad Nagar, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad and Modi Nagar, respectively. The turnout of women in 2012 was recorded at 59.08%, 59.5%, 48.46%, 51.9% and 59.16% for the same assembly segments, respectively.
“Women are increasingly getting aware of their rights and coming out to vote. Their participation is also required in a democracy. A large number of women also cast their votes independently. Earlier, women mostly voted for the candidates the family supported,” said Vijendri Devi, a senior citizen from Murad Nagar segment.
However, it is to be noted that the turnout of women voters did not exceed that of the men in any of the segments.
Also, in comparison to 2012, an increase in women voter turnout was witnessed only in three of the five constituencies — for Loni, Sahibabad and Modi Nagar assembly segments.
“Women’s participation in numbers has increased as they have their set of important issues which they want to bring to the forefront. Issues such as safety and security, jobs and growth are of high importance. Women come out to vote to make their voice heard on the issues,” Priyanka Verma, a voter from Murad Nagar, said.
Among the candidates from all five assembly segments in Ghaziabad, there were only five women of the total of 53 candidates. Of the major political parties, only Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded a woman, from the Modi Nagar segment. The four others contested on tickets of lesser known parties or as independents.