A report by Lokniti-CSDS and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung released Wednesday has looked at women and politics from multiple perspectives. The analysis was based mostly on the findings of a survey among women across the country, which assessed the perception of women on different dimensions of political participation and representation.
It found that socio-economic class also determines women’s participation in electoral activities. Women belonging to the upper social (castes) and upper economic classes were found to be more active in electoral politics as compared to women placed at the bottom of the social and economic hierarchy (Table 1).
The study found that women’s participation as voters has seen a sharp increase over the years. Although the number of women candidates has increased, there still exists a wide gap. Only a little over one-fourth of the women respondents were keen to make a career in politics if given an opportunity (Figure 1).
To a question that presented a situation where a man and a woman were equally good candidates, close to half the women respondents agreed that parties always prefer a male candidate while giving tickets. Only one-seventh of respondents disagreed and one in 10 had no opinion (Figure 2).
The respondents were asked whether they agreed that “there is a lower possibility for a woman to win against a man, therefore women should not contest against men”. Two in every five women disagreed with the statement (Table 2).
Asked about barriers which they thought prevented them from taking part in politics, a little more than one-third of the women did not respond. Among those who responded, patriarchal norms/structure of the society were the biggest obstacles (more than a fifth of the women). The second reported reason (13%) was household responsibilities; the third “individual barriers”. (Table 3)
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