Tamil Nadu 2016

More women MLAs this time, but just 9% of total strength

The 15th Assembly in Tamil Nadu will see more women representatives than in the previous session, but not by a wide margin. If 17 women sat in the Assembly after the elections in 2011, there will be 21 women this time, including Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. This is only 9 per cent of the total 232 seats for which results have been declared so far, and women’s political representation is clearly not on anyone’s agenda.

Out of the 21 women, 16 are from the AIADMK, and four from the DMK, with one lone woman from the Congress.

Fifty-two per cent of women fielded by AIADMK and 21 per cent fielded by the DMK won. In an analysis done by Prajna Trust, a gender-based NGO, it was the MDMK that had allocated the highest percentage of seats to women at 13.8, but that party came a cropper. The AIADMK followed it up at 13.7 per cent, allocating 31 seats out of 227 to women candidates, and over 50 per cent of them tasted victory.

The DMK gave 19 seats to women in the 174 constituencies the party contested, and secured a lower conversion rate – from fielding candidate to victory.

Out of a total of 3,787 candidates fielded by top political parties, including the ADMK, DMK, PMK, MDMK, VCK, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), Naam Tamizhar Katchi, BJP and TMC, there were 323 female candidates, less than 10 per cent.

At 9 per cent representation of women in the Assembly this time, there is nothing to crow about, even if the number of seats is slightly higher than last time, says Swarna Rajagopalan of Prajnya.

“It’s very pathetic. What’s worse is that no one thinks it is pathetic,” she adds. As the battle for securing 33 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament and Legislatives Houses, continues, it is disappointing to note that parties will not, of their own accord, field a substantial number of women candidates.

Out of 21 women, 16 are from AIADMK, four from DMK and one from Congress

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 8:12:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamilnadu2016/more-women-mlas-this-time-but-just-9-of-total-strength/article8627947.ece

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