Maharashtra has few women contesting elections, and a third of them are independents

BCCL

  • Of a total of 3,237 candidates in the fray fielding for Maharashtra assembly elections this year, merely 235 are women.
  • That means only 8% of the candidates are women.
  • In 2014 assembly elections in the state, 161 women candidates fielded in Maharashtra.
  • Presently, of the total 288 seats, there are only 20 assembly seats that are occupied by women.
  • Shiv Sena has sent only 7 women candidates.
Of a total of 3,237 candidates in the fray for Maharashtra assembly elections this year, merely 235 are women. That means only 8% of the contestants are women — which is in fact lower than Haryana at 9%.

Of this, as many as 88 are independent candidates, accounting for 30.5% of the total women candidates.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) reports points to this gender divide in Indian politics. In 2014 assembly elections in the state, 161 women candidates contested in Maharashtra, accounting for 7% of the total number of contestants.

According to the women politicians in the state, “only if there is a 50% reservation for women in elections, as is done in panchayats, will the women be adequately represented, TOI reported.

“When there is pressure for equal representation of women and men in every field, why should it not be applicable in politics. Even the 33% reservation for women in general elections is pending and no party is willing to take up or implement it,” poll analyst Chandrakant Bhujbal commented.

Presently, of the total 288 seats, there are only 20 assembly seats that are occupied by women. This accounts for nearly 12% of the total assembly members. India ranks 148, in terms of women parliamentarians by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the UN.

The key contesting parties are Shiv Sena, Indian National Congress (INC), Nationalist Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP and Congress have sent merely 14 women candidates each. On the other hand, only 8 women are fielding from NCP and Shiv Sena too has only 7 women candidates.

See also:
A third of Maharashtra’s MLA candidates are crorepatis and BJP has 96% of them

The top ten richest MLA candidates in Maharashtra election together are worth ₹2400 crore


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