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Fewer women voted in Phase 1, highest female turnout recorded in tribal seats

The lowest turnout of women voters was recorded in Gandhidham (45.59 per cent) in Kutch district, followed by Gadhada (47.55 per cent) in Botad district, Dhari (48.71 per cent) in Amreli district, and Karanj (48.89 per cent) in Surat district.

To boost the turnout of women, the EC set up women-only booths called pink booths. (Representational/File)

Election Commission (EC) data for Gujarat Assembly elections show that 60.75 per cent of women exercised their franchise in the first phase on Thursday, down from 64.33 per cent five years ago. This is a decline of 3.58 percentage points while the corresponding decline in voting percentage of men was 3.35 percentage points (from 69.04 per cent in 2017 to 65.69 per cent).

The lowest turnout of women voters was recorded in Gandhidham (45.59 per cent) in Kutch district, followed by Gadhada (47.55 per cent) in Botad district, Dhari (48.71 per cent) in Amreli district, and Karanj (48.89 per cent) in Surat district.

The tribal constituencies of Dediapada, Mandvi, Mahuva, Vyara, Nizar, Vansda, and Dharampur in south Gujarat, only of the 89 seats in the first phase to have more women voters than men, recorded the highest turnout of women voters in the first phase. But even in these constituencies, the turnout of men was higher than that of women. Dediapada in Narmada district reported the highest turnout at 82.71 per cent. The constituency saw 81.53 per cent of women vote as against 83.89 per cent men.

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A BJP leader attributed the decline in the turnout of women to December 1 being an auspicious day for marriages. BJP state vice president Varshaben Doshi from Surendranagar, which went to polls in the first phase, told The Indian Express, “This time, marriages scheduled on December 1 are one of the main reasons for this low women voter turnout. We all know the amount of work that goes into organising a marriage. There were instances where in villages more than 70 per cent of the residents had left for wedding ceremonies.”

Doshi added, “Second reason is that women voters still get less respect than men when we seek votes. We may fold our hands for a man but not in front of a woman. Even now, women are expected to seek votes from women even for male candidates.”

To boost the turnout of women, the EC set up women-only booths called pink booths.

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 05:50 IST
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