The assembly elections in the five states saw some surprising and sweeping wins. However, the number of women entrants in the state legislative assemblies remains dismal. Out of 2979 candidates in all the states, there were just 234 women in fray. And out of these 234, only 56 were elected.
A comparison with 2012 indicates that the percentage of winning female candidates increased this year by 2%. However, the number of candidates this year was lesser as 260 female candidates contested polls in 2012 and 59 of them got elected. Considering the percentage of female Members of Parliament – 11% – it is not very far-fetched to say that most states have extremely few women candidates and that the numbers in these five states more or less represent the participation of women candidates in other states as well.
As the Modi wave swept Uttar Pradesh, granting BJP 312 seats in the state, the state also elected 41 out of the 61 female candidates in the race. So, in the legislative assembly of 403 seats, 10% of the MLAs will be women. A whopping 67.2% of women were elected from the total number of women candidates; this is a sprightly number as compared to the percentages in other states. In 2012, UP had 79 female candidates out of which 36 had won.
Shockingly, in Punjab only six women candidate out of 81 who contested the polls could sucre victory. This mean only 5% of female will be part of the 117-seat assembly. In 2012, 14 out of 93 women candidates had won, which was 15% of the total women candidates nominated. That percentage has fallen to half, with only 7.5% women candidates out of their total being elected this time.
Now a BJP bastion, Uttarakhand has hardly seen a female candidate at the helm of affairs like Harish Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna. Out of 62 female candidates, only 5 have been elected, just 7.1 per cent women representation in the 70-member Assembly. There isn’t a lot of change in the numbers since 2012 as it too had similar figures with 63 women candidates contesting and 5 winning.
While Irom Sharmila was a prominent name from Manipur this time, she failed to secure even 100 votes. For the 60 seats that the state has, only 11 women candidates contested elections. Out of these, only two could secure wins. Barely 3% of women will be part of the legislative assembly of the state. Like Uttarakhand, the numbers of 2012 were similar, with 15 candidates contesting and only 3 winning.
With almost double the number of female candidates this year, the winners also doubled since 2012; but since the numbers were extremely low then – 10 candidates and 1 winner – it remained the case in 2017 as well. 2 out of 19 candidates were elected to the state legislative assembly which has 40 seats. Women will have 5% representation in the state’s assembly, a number not too different from the rest of the states.