Number of women  Parliamentarian decreased in 18th Lok Sabha

N73 women elected to LS, lower than 2019EW ELHI : Among these are 74 women MPs, a decrease from the 78 MPs in the previous Lok Sabha, the highest ever recorded. West Bengal leads as the State electing the most women MPs, at 11.
The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will prove to be a turning point in the political history of modern India. There is much to analyse and celebrate though. But on one front, we have taken a step back. The 18th Lok Sabha will have 74 women along with 469 men.
While this group of 74 certainly includes many powerful, determined and hardworking elected representatives, overall they make up only 13.6 percent of all MPs. Not only is this share very skewed, but it is also less than the share of women elected in the 2019 election (14.4 percent).
If we consider the context in which the 2024 elections were held, the parliamentary representation of women should have registered a significant improvement. After all, this was the first parliamentary election after India passed the historic Women’s Reservation Bill, which proposes to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women once it comes into force.

When the bill was passed in Parliament last year, political parties of all hues went all out to take credit for this historic development and express their support. Additionally, women remained a significant demographic in this election. From party manifestos and campaign speeches of top leaders to understanding their voting preferences, Indian women remained a largely conspicuous (and somewhat mysterious) presence in the long-drawn-out election season.
But in this imagination, women remained limited to just voters and beneficiaries. Not so much as leaders and representatives entitled to equal participation in the political hierarchy. According to data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), only 9.6 per cent of all candidates in this election (and 11 per cent of candidates contesting on a party ticket) were women. This is barely up from 2019, when women made up nine per cent of the candidates. To add insult to injury, many of the women who contested had to face misogynistic comments and taunts from their peers.
If so few women contest, their representation among those elected will likely remain marginal. While parliaments in most parts of the world remain dominated by men, India lags far behind most of its counterparts. For instance, in 2023, parliamentary elections were held in 52 countries across the world – with an average of 27.6 per cent women elected, data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) shows. In fact, globally, women currently account for 26.9 per cent of all MPs. Before the 18th Lok Sabha elections, India was ranked 143rd out of 185 countries on this scale, according to IPU data.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *