Whiners take notice. There is enough and more evidence to show that women want reservation in legislative bodies, not because they are weak and tend to lose elections, but because they can win -- if only given a chance.

Statistics available with the Election Commission and compiled by the PRS Legislative Research establish that women outperform men on the electoral battle field. This is true of women members of virtually all parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Janata Dal (U) which have disrupted Parliament, demanding a sub-quota for Other Backward Class (OBC) women in the Women's Reservation Bill.

In the current Lok Sabha, the Congress tops the list with the most women winners. The party fielded 43 women of whom 23, or 53 per cent, got elected. The party's male candidates finished seven points below at 46 per cent. Of 397 men fielded by the Congress, 183 got past the finish line. The BJP fielded 44 women of whom 13, accounting for 29. 5 per cent, won. Of the party's 389 male candidates, 103, or 26.5 per cent, proved victorious.

The percentage gap grows wider down the ladder, with the women candidates of Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Janata Dal (U) easily outdoing their male counterparts.

Twenty per cent of the SP's women candidates (3/15) and 11.2 per cent of its male candidates (20/178) got into the 15th Lok Sabha. Similarly, 14.3 per cent of the BSP's women candidates (4/28) won as against only 3.6 per cent of its male candidates (17/472). Two of three women fielded by the JD(U), amounting to 66.7 per cent, triumphed as against 18 of 52 or 34.6 per cent in the case of its men. The trend reversed only for the RJD which fielded two women both of whom lost.

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