Voters want more women in LS: Survey

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New Delhi, February 13: More than 82% voters want more women in the next Lok Sabha, according to a survey by a citizen’s collective called Shakti.
The survey was conducted among 10 lakh voters across 24 States on a mobile application called Neta app. The application has more than two crore verified users and covers all 543 parliamentary constituencies.
The users were posed one simple question – Do you want more women in Lok Sabha 2019? And, in response as many as 82.2% of participants voted ‘yes.’ The finding was shared at an event here on Tuesday.
“Only 1.4% of independent candidates get elected. Therefore, it is important to focus on political parties and put pressure on them so that more women leaders stand for elections. We have seen from data from the Election Commission of India that more women get voted than men, but we needed to know whether voters were willing to elect women leaders and that’s the question we asked in our survey,” said Tara Krishnaswamy, co-convener, of Shakti. The collective was set up in December last year to promote participation of women in politics.
The findings are in stark contrast with the facts as they stand today – There are a mere 9% women MLAs and 11% Lok Sabha MPs as per EC data. This is despite political parties having massive membership among women. For instance, women members in the BJP are 3 crore and in the CPM they are at 1 crore.
EC data also shows that all Lok Sabha elections have shown that women representatives have higher winnability than their male counterparts. For example, the 16th Lok Sabha elections showed that 9.13% of total women candiates who stood for election emerged as winners while the same figure for men was at 6.36%.
Krishnaswamy added that it will conduct campaigns to exert public pressure on political parties as well as extend support to women candidates by showcasing their profile on the internet as well as helping them collaborate with fund-raisers.
Earlier, as part of the Call Your MP campaign, Shakti was able to reach out to 130 MPs to persuade them to take up passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament. (Courtesy: The Hindu)