The total number of woman candidates — 276 — is a dismal 6.7 per cent of the total candidates in the fray; only 60% of these have been fielded by parties and the rest are Independent candidates
Political parties are united in their rhetoric about women’s development and giving women equal rights. However, they also share the trait of not living up to the rhetoric or even making a concerted effort to do so. All political parties looking to win seats in the upcoming assembly elections have fared dismally when it comes to fielding women candidates.
Susieben Shah and Pankaja Munde
There are a total of 4,119 candidates in the fray for the Assembly polls and, of these, only 276 are women. That works out to an abysmal 6.7%. Things get worse when you factor in the fact that 109 women have filed nominations as Independents. Thus, if you count only the women who have been fielded by political parties, the percentage reduces further — to 4.
The Indian National Congress has put up only 27 woman candidates in the 282 seats it is contesting on, which translates to 9.4 per cent. The BJP is second, with 7.7 per cent woman nominees, and the NCP is third, with 7,2 per cent of its hopefuls being women. Among the five major parties, MNS is fourth with 6.8% and Shiv Sena is last, at a measly 4.6 per cent.
Among the other parties, CPI and CPI(M) have nominated one woman each among the 34 and 19 candidates they have fielded respectively.
The state assembly has 288 constituencies. In the 2009 assembly polls, there were 211 women candidates contesting and 11 of them managed to win.
Number of female candidates fielded by political parties across the state
Total number of woman candidates contesting