In 2009, national success average of women candidates outdid national average in the case of all major parties

As parties go about finalising their candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab-based citizens’ group People for Transparency has come out with data that show that women candidates have had better success at the hustings.

According to the group, an analysis of the 2009 results showed that women have outdone their male counterparts in all major parties and eclipsed their party’s national success average. “The aim of bringing out this analysis at this stage is to draw the attention of political parties toward the winning potential of women,” said PT general secretary Kamal Anand. Though women are 49 per cent of the population and should ordinarily be given seats in proportion to their numbers, we believe that given their success rate, it is in the interest of political parties to give at least 33 per cent of the seats to women in this election.”

For instance, the group points out that the BSP fought the 2009 election in 500 seats, of which it won only 21 at a national success ratio of 4.2%. Out of its 28 women contestants, however, four won, taking the party’s national success ratio to 14.28 per cent. “Despite having a woman as its national president, only 5.6 per cent of the BSP’s candidates were women. Going by their success rate, the party would have been better off if it had fielded more women,” says Mr. Anand.

In 2009, the Congress gave tickets to 43 women — a mere 10 per cent of the party’s total contestant strength — out of whom 23 won the elections at a handsome success ratio of 53.48 per cent. The party’s national success ratio, on the other hand, was only 47 per cent in the 440 seats that it contested. “Other national parties — the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal — too allotted no more than 10 per cent of the tickets to women, though their eventual success rate was much better than the men,” said Mr. Anand. The BJP’s 44 women outdid the party’s national success average by three per cent.

“It is unfortunate that all politicians are today making tall claims that women are an asset to the country. Their actions speak louder than words — parties fail to allot women tickets in proportion to their population.”

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