Future still bleak for women

Future still bleak for women

In more than 50 per cent of the states and the union territories, most of which ruled by the Congress and the BJP, no woman candidates were sent to the Parliament. 

As many as 15 women candidates contested the last Lok Sabha elections from Kerala, but, none of them could win. People’s response to these women candidates in the state was so poor that 12 of them had to even lose their deposits for getting less than one sixth of the total votes polled in their respective constituencies. Kerala has 20 Lok sabha seats, all currently represented by men.

The fate of the women candidates contesting elections remained same in Goa, J&Kr, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Jharkhand, according to a data released by the EC. Political parties did not field any woman candidate to contest from Arunachal, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshdweep and Pudducherry.

As many as 559 women contested parliamentary polls in 2009 but only 59 of them could win. The absolute number of women winning Lok Sabha seats remained in double digits while men made up just below 90 per cent of the law makers.

“When it comes to fielding candidates, their winnability is the most important factor which is taken into account,” said a senior Congress leader. Congress has so far fielded 51 women candidates to contest elections out of a total 413.

While a large number of them are joining the fray as independents, major political parties like Congress and BJP are too giving them some space.