Decoding women’s representation in the 2021 state elections

Started by devikad, May 06, 2021, 11:22 PM

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Decoding women's representation in the 2021 state elections

Reports, anecdotal accounts, and now the results suggest that women played a crucial role in shaping the electoral outcomes in the four states and one Union Territory that went to the polls this year.

In West Bengal, they may have cemented the All India Trinamool Congress's (TMC) victory by massively voting for Mamata Banerjee's candidates. These elections also took place in five states where the gender gap in participation and voting had closed way before these elections. In West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, it closed in 2011. In Puducherry, women have been outvoting men since 1985 and in Kerala and Assam, there was never a gap between men and women in the first place.

How did these five states and their main parties fare in terms of women representation in this election and in the past? The quick answer to that question is not so well.

Overall, women constituted only 10.4% of all candidates, and only 8.5% of all members of the legislative assembly (MLAs). West Bengal is the only state where the ratio of women MLA is superior to that of women candidates, thanks to the TMC's decision to field 48 women out of its 288 candidates (16.7%). This is more than any other parties across the five states, but much less than the 41% of women candidates it fielded in the 2019 general elections.


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