Major political parties still shy of fielding women: ADR analysis

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 30, 2013

From left to right: A file photo of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and former President Pratibha Patil.

India may boast a woman President, Prime Minister and Speaker, but when it comes to selecting candidates, key political parties still have a long way to go.

In the past 10 years, only 7 per cent or 4,148 candidates out of the 62,847 candidates were women, says an analysis. Of these, 675 won to become MPs or MLAs.

Interestingly, the maximum number of women candidates (981) were Independents, followed by Congress with 551, Bharatiya Janata Party with 460, Bahujan Samaj Party with 249, Samajwadi Party with 148 and CPI(M) with 132 women candidates, says a gender analysis done by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), based on the affidavits submitted by candidates to the Election Commission.

If seen as a proportion of the total number of candidates analysed, the Trinamool Congress tops by giving 12 per cent of party tickets to women (110 out of 904), followed by CPI(M) with 11 per cent or 132 women out of 1,163 candidates and DMK with 10 per cent or 30 women out of 315 candidates.

However, the ‘paying nexus’ between crime and politics seems to have touched women, too.

The average assets of the 675 women MPs and MLAs stood at Rs 1.46 crore (average assets of male MPs/MLAs was Rs 1.36 crore), with 111 of them declared facing criminal charges, of which 37 had ‘serious’ criminal charges.

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Published on July 30, 2013
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