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Gujarat Assembly Has Fewer Women MLAs In 2017 Than In 2012

Shreya Prabhu,
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The proportion of female members of legislative assembly (MLAs) in Gujarat has fallen to 7% (13 MLAs), two percentage points lesser than 9% (16 MLAs) in the 2012 assembly.

 

The last time Gujarat assembly had 13 women MLAs was in 2007, according to Election Commission data.

 

As many as 1,693 (93%) of 1,815 candidates were men and only 122 (7%) were women in the 2017 elections as against 1,569 men (94%) and 97 women (6%) in the 2012 assembly elections.

 

In the last five elections, the proportion of women candidates has varied between 4-7%.

 

Source: Association for Democratic Reform

 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the winning party in Gujarat, fielded 12 female candidates–6% of its 181 candidates. Of the 12, nine were elected to the assembly, a strike rate of 75%.

 

Congress, which closely followed BJP in the results, fielded 10 female candidates, 6% of its 176 candidates, and four were elected to the assembly, a strike rate of 40%.

 

While Bahujan Samaj Party fielded 7% women, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) fielded 2% women.

 

With only 13 of the 122 women candidates winning the elections, the strike rate is 10.6%, according to this report by the Association for Democratic Reforms, an advocacy.

 

Source: Association for Democratic Reforms

 

In 12 of the 13 constituencies where female candidates won, the closest opponent was a male candidate. Only Bhavnagar East had BJP’s Vibhavari Dave contesting against Congress’s Nitaben Rathod. Dave won by a margin of 22,442 votes.

 

The highest margin–110,819 votes–was seen in Choryashi where Patel Zankhana Hiteshkumar of the BJP won the seat. The lowest margin was in Kalol where Sumanben Chauhan (BJP) won with a margin of 1,982 votes.

 

Haryana has highest proportion of women MLAs

 

The highest female representation in a state assembly is in Haryana, which has 13 women MLAs as part of its 90-member assembly, or 14.4%.

 

Haryana is followed by Rajasthan with 28 women MLAs (14.1%) in its 199-member assembly.

 

Nagaland and Mizoram have no women MLAs.

 

Source: Association for Democratic Reform
Note: As of January 9, 2018

 

The representation of women members of Parliament (12%) is higher than the national average of women representatives in state assemblies (9%) but still inadequate, IndiaSpend reported on March 8, 2016.

 

40% panchayats have a woman sarpanch

 

Of 238,617 gram panchayats (village councils) across the country, 94,583 (40%) have a woman sarpanch (village chief), according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on November 24, 2017.

 

Including panchayat members, women account for over 46% of elected representatives of the village councils. The Constitution mandates 33% reservations for women in seats and offices of chairpersons in panchayats.

 

Elected women sarpanchs have indicated signs of harassment and non-cooperation, as IndiaSpend reported on March 8, 2017.

 

(Shreya is a data analyst with IndiaSpend.)

 

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