Unfair playing field for women in Punjab polls

Unfair playing field for women in Punjab polls
This election has shown just how unfair political parties have been to women when it comes to electoral representation. Tall claims by parties of 33% representation for women have fallen flat and politicians are seeking refuge under the garb of the winnability criteria.

Women comprise a sizable 47% of Punjab’s 1.98 crore voters, but only 7% have been allotted tickets in the February 4 polls. Out of 1,145 candidates in the fray, 81 are women, of which 37 are contesting independently. Mainstream parties have given just 27 seats to women.

There are several districts in Punjab where not a single woman is in the fray. The Akali Dal seems to be the worst in this case. The party has given tickets to only four women candidates. Its ally, BJP, which is contesting 23 seats in Punjab, has given tickets to two women. The AAP and the Congress have given nine and 11 seats, respectively, to women candidates. In 2012, the representation was slightly higher, with about 9% women in the fray. As many as 14 women made it to the treasury benches in the last Assembly elections.
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