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More Kerala women voters than men, but only 9% of Assembly election candidates are female

Sources point out that of the among about 2,000 odd MLAs in Kerala over the years, the number of women was only around 90
Last Updated : 15 March 2021, 16:59 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2021, 16:59 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2021, 16:59 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2021, 16:59 IST

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Even as women outnumber men by 8.27 lakh in Kerala electoral roll, the total number of women candidates among the 420 odd candidates fielded by three major fronts to the 140 seats in Kerala Assembly is only 38, which comes to just nine per cent.

Kerala Mahila Congress president Lathika Subash tonsuring of her head in protest against the denial of seat to her as well as many women by the Congress for the Assembly election has triggered discussions on the inadequate representation of women in all mainstream political parties.

Subash also decided to contest as an independent candidate at Ettumanoor in Kottayam district, despite Congress leaders trying to pursue her not to make such moves. Congress had allotted the Ettumanoor seat to coalition partner Kerala Congress (Joseph) and the party's candidate Prince Lukose has also started campaigning.

Sources point out that of the among about 2,000 odd MLAs in Kerala over the years, the number of women was only around 90. The state only had eight women ministers so far and there were no women chief ministers. Even as legendry Communist leader K R Gowri was once projected as a chief ministerial candidate, it was allegedly scuttled after the elections.

This time the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF is comparatively having a higher women representation of 15, while BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UDF have only ten so far.

Cutting across party lines, women leaders are flaying the lack of representation of women. Kerala health and social justice minister K K Shailaja told a section of media that preferably there should be up to 50 per cent women representation in Assembly elections. CPI leader and National Federation of Indian Women general secretary Annie Raja also slammed the lack of representation of women among the candidates of all parties.

Sobhana George, a former Congress MLA who later joined the CPI(M), alleged that she had to quit the Congress owing to the neglect by the male-dominated leadership and at one stage she was even about to take extreme steps in life owing to the neglect.

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Published 15 March 2021, 13:25 IST

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