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HomeExclusiveReport Highlights Lack of Women Candidates in 150 Lok Sabha Constituencies for 2024 Elections

Report Highlights Lack of Women Candidates in 150 Lok Sabha Constituencies for 2024 Elections

A recent report has revealed that 150 Lok Sabha constituencies had no women candidates in the 2024 elections, accounting for about 27.6% of the 543 seats. The data, compiled by the Quantum Hub (TQH), a New Delhi-based public policy research and consulting firm, underscores the ongoing gender disparity in Indian politics.

Women’s Representation by the Numbers

The 2024 elections saw the participation of 799 women candidates, which is approximately 9.5% of the total 8,360 candidates. This marks an increase from previous years, with 7% female candidates in 2009, 8% in 2014, and 9% in 2019, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Despite this progress, the overall presence of women in the electoral fray remains low.

Party-wise Gender Representation

Among national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led with 69 women nominees out of 440 candidates, representing 16% of their total. The Congress followed with 41 women out of 327 candidates, making up 13%. State parties nominated 14.4% women candidates, while only 7.1% of independent candidates were women.

Regional Variations in Female Candidacy

States like Odisha, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh led in female representation with 15.4%, 13.8%, and 13.2% of their candidates being women, respectively. In contrast, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat had some of the lowest percentages of women candidates at 7.1%, 7.2%, and 7.2%, respectively. Notably, the smaller states of Manipur and Nagaland had no female candidates.

Notable Constituencies and Final Phases of Polling

Certain constituencies stood out for having a higher number of women candidates. Baramati in Maharashtra and Warangal in Telangana each had eight women candidates, while Karur in Tamil Nadu and Kolkata in West Bengal had seven each.

As the election process neared its conclusion, polling for 486 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats was completed by the sixth phase on May 25. The final phase of voting for the remaining 57 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories was scheduled for June 1. The results are set to be declared on June 4, concluding the 44-day polling exercise.

Women’s Reservation Bill and Future Prospects

This election is notable for being the first since the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, which mandates reserving one-third of Lok Sabha and state assembly seats for women. However, the bill has yet to come into effect, leaving the current election largely unchanged in terms of enforced gender quotas.

The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is seeking a third consecutive term, aiming for a historic 400 seats. They face stiff competition from the opposition parties united under the banner of the INDIA bloc, led by the Congress.

Conclusion

While the 2024 Lok Sabha elections have seen a gradual increase in the number of women candidates, the report by TQH highlights significant gaps in gender representation. The absence of women candidates in 150 constituencies and the low percentage of female candidates across various parties indicate that much work remains to achieve gender parity in Indian politics. The upcoming implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill holds promise for future elections, potentially transforming the landscape of political representation in India.

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