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What women voters want: Safety, pollution top issues, says survey

A polling officer inks the finger of a voter at a village in Dausa district of Rajasthan. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

When women exercise their ballot, they are most likely to vote for a leader who makes battling crimes against women a priority, according to a survey conducted by Change.org.

Women voters are most concerned about their safety, and the issue ranked top among a total of 39 issues that were polled as part of the survey. Among the other top concerns for women were waste disposal, faster judicial process, pollution, and the supply of water and electricity. On the other hand, growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and jobs were the most important issues for men, and crimes against women ranked much lower at 15th position.

A total of 20,000 men and women participated in the study that was conducted online in January by Change.org, a website for petitions. The respondents included 4,000 women and 16,000 men, who are Change.org users, that is, have either started petitions on the platform or endorsed them.

The findings also show that while both women and men are most likely to vote a candidate on the basis of his or her track record in spending funds and raising issues in Parliament as well as on poll promises, a higher percentage of women (70.3%) voters are likely to be influenced by these criteria than men (66.54%).

Men, and not women, are more likely to be influenced by a candidate’s party, shows the study. A total of 21.9% men and 17% women said they would vote for a candidate on the basis of her or his political party.

As many as 56.64% of women said they would vote for women candidates, while 43.36% of men said they would do so.

The survey found that among the most important gender issues occupying the minds of women voters are also freedom of choice in religion and marriage, menstrual hygiene, girl child education and maternal and infant mortality.

Besides these specific gender-related concerns, women care about mental health, religious freedom and forest conservation more than men. However, as far as men are concerned, they worry most about GDP growth and jobs, rural infrastructure, corruption, police reforms, public transport, uniform civil code, and roads.

“We have presented the findings of this survey to political parties, including the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Congress, DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the BJD (Biju Janata Dal), so that they can add some of these issues into their manifestos,” said Nida Hasan, Country-Director, Change.org, adding that “the survey was an attempt to amplify women’s voices and put their concerns at front and centre in the political discourse.”

The article was corrected for a factual error

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 4:32:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/what-women-voters-want-changeorg-survey-finds-out/article26352323.ece

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