In Charts: Women Candidates In Lok Sabha Polls
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have offered a ridiculous 12.6 per cent and 12.8 per cent tickets, respectively, to their female candidates in the Lok Sabha polls 2019.
Smaller parties are leading the way with a larger representation of women. But, the lack of initiative by bigger parties with a larger number of contestants saw a timid 1.2 per cent increase from 2014 in the total share of women to 8.8 per cent this year.
Female representation in the Lok Sabha has never touched 12 per cent since Independence, despite the fact that they constitute 48 per cent of India's population, according to Census 2011 data.
A Tamil nationalist party, Naam Tamilar Katchi, led by actor-turned-politician Seeman, is the only party to have given an equal number of tickets to both men and women.
Unsurprisingly, Odisha and West Bengal top the charts when it comes to representation of women across large states.
A couple of months ago, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Naveen Patnaik declared that one-third of the candidates fielded by his party in the upcoming general elections in Odisha would be women.
West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee followed suit and announced the candidature of 23 women candidates out of the total 62.
Haryana is the worst performer with 4.9 per cent female representation. The Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has no women candidate out of the 10 contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Women are contesting more (in proportion) on national and state-party tickets and less so as local parties or independent candidates.
Also, more women are contesting in ST seats (14.3 per cent) and in SC seats (10.5 per cent) than in general seats (8.2%). This, however, is a normal trend.
This election, 711 women are fighting out of the total 8,048 candidates. The 2014 general elections saw 670 women candidates competing, a record-high and a 20 per cent increase from 2009.
However, even as the ratio of women to men candidates has improved significantly over the years, the figure is still very low.
While the proportion of women to men candidates has increased, their likelihood of getting elected has decreased. From 17.59 per cent in 1999, the success rate of women candidate has decreased to 9.4 per cent in 2014.
However, women candidates still fare better than men. In fact, the success rate of women to men candidates has increased from 4.54 per cent in 1996 to 8.84 per cent in 2014.
If you'd go by global standards, India's female political participation lags behind major democracies. It's the half of the 18 per cent of the global average for women in the lower house of parliament, and well short of both Pakistan (20 per cent) and Bangladesh (21 per cent).