Importance of Electoral Participation of Women

India is the largest democracy with the longest constitution in the world. Needless to say women form half of this population and it would make complete sense if women are given the reasonable representation.  These are the few highlighted points which show that electoral representation of women in India can contribute to the progress of this nation.

Number do the Talking- The global electoral representation of women stands at 20 percent, whereas, the Indian representation lags far behind to stand at 11 percent. The numbers certainly do not go with the notion of a democratic country where representation forms the base of any decision.

Lok Sabha’s equilibrium- There have been various bills taken up for the representation of women in the electoral politics in India, and sometimes they have garnered results. It shows that country is ready for the change and thus it should be welcomed. With proper representation, we not only will uplift the status of women but also make sure that the system is not rusted and is ready for developments for the betterment of the country.

Fighting the male-dominant society- Political analysts have over the years pointed out reasons why women are on the fringes that excludes them from the basic political process of the country. One of them is the patriarchal and male-dominant competition between and within the parties nationwide. With accurate amount of representation of women in the political parties, the dreadful cultural problem of female subordination can be solved. It is even possible that most of the feminist protests in the country might get the needed voice of their own to serve their respective purposes.

The ‘win-ability factor’- One common reason quoted for the lack of representation of women in the politics is the lack of win-ability factor among the women in India. It is common notion, within the political parties, that a women candidate is not worth the risk taken. But with times changing, it has begun to change as well. The winning statistics of women in the first Lok Sabha elections in 1952 was 4.4 percent but with years gone by it has increased up to 11 percent in the 16th Lok Sabha elections in 2014. But women who have made them get noticed in the party with these wins often fail to come up the ladder. This raises the question of the positional representation as well. With the increasing number of votes being banked by women, it is time that the Indian political system opens its arms to the proper electoral representation of women in India.

Panchayati Raj Reservation in 1990 - The reservation of 33 percent seats for women in Panchayati Raj institutions in India in the beginning of 90’s played a crucial role in re building the social structure of the country. It gave a picture where women were shown in par with men in the remote villages of the country. It led to increased awareness of electoral representation of women in the country and it did something which never happened in year- it increased the voting representation of women in the country. In the 16th Lok Sabha elections of 2014, it reached the highest of 65.7 percent.

Thus the representation at the top most level can actually help at the grass root level of the social, cultural and political structure of the country.  

 Article by - Punita