Congress President Rahul Gandhi on March 13 said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent government jobs for women and pass the Women's Reservation Bill giving 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha if it wins the Lok Sabha battle. This is a clear sign that women’s rights are rising up the political agenda for next month’s Lok Sabha election.
On March 12, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said her All India Trinamool Congress party would field 17 women candidates across 42 seats.
And a couple of days back, Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik announced that the party would field 33 per cent women candidates, calling the move a “historic step" for the empowerment of women.
There are currently 66 women out of a total 543 elected members in the lower house of parliament. At 12 percent, this is the highest ever proportion of women in Lok Sabha.
Women make up nearly half of all voters in the country of 1.3 billion people, according to the Election Commission of India. Based on recent state polls, women will likely head to voting stations in droves for the elections due by May, surpassing male turnout, analysts predict.