Women have been a big part of this election, not only as voters and candidates but as headline makers and conversation drivers. At 67% each, male and female voter turnout was significantly better than earlier general elections. As the BJP gets ready to continue in power for another 5 years, we take a look at what experts say about women candidates of winning parties. Do they have a better chance than men? Does the winning wave lift the potential of women candidates because their party is on good footing?
Political Shakti founder, Tara Krishnaswamy told SheThePeople.TV, “India has always voted in favour of parties rather than candidates so the women leaders of winning parties have an advantage, like the women fielded by YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh or by DMK in Tamil Nadu. So wherever the party is doing well, the women fielded by them are also doing well. In general women candidates fielded by winning parties have a slightly greater rate of winning than men. But we’ll have to wait till the end the day for more clarity.”
However, Political analyst Gilles Verniers differs. “I am not sure if women candidates fielded by winning parties have a better edge at winning is a valid statement, because except for West Bengal there are much fewer women candidates fielded than men. So the odds for winning then will be higher for men than women. Secondly, the women candidates fielded by winning parties tend to have strong elite profile. Most of them belong to political families and therefore it strengthens their candidacy.”
Almost two-thirds of sitting women MPs were running again in 2019. This is significant because Indian politics has a high turnover of elected representatives.
Here's how the women candidates scenario looked:
BJP has fielded 45 women out of 374 candidates.
Congress gave tickets to 47 women out of 344 tickets.
Biju Janta Dal fielded 33% of women candidates at seven in total out of 21 seats in Odisha.
Mamata Banerjee's All India Trinamool Congress fielded 41% of women candidates with 17 out of 42 total candidates.
Even though the early trends might show a larger number of women candidates leading from constituencies in the North especially, they might not end up winning. - Rajan Pandey
Psephologist Rajan Pandey is keen on finding the women candidates who win from BJD and AITC as that's where their candidacy is higher than the rest of the parties. "Even though the early trends might show a larger number of women candidates leading from constituencies in the North especially, they might not end up winning," he said adding that in UP Maneka Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Hema Malini, Jaya Prada and Smriti Irani have a great chance at winning, but they are all well known national level leaders. Their victory can't be restricted to the fact that they are women candidates.
Meanwhile, the election result trend shows that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam of Tamil Nadu, which fielded two women candidates including Sumathy Thangapandian from Chennai South and Kanimozhi Karunanidhi from Thoothukudi, is looking at a possible victory on both these seats. In Andhra Pradesh, four women candidates of Yuvajana Shramika Raithu Congress Party (YSRCP), namely Goddeti Madhavi from Aruku (ST), Dr. KV Satyavathi from Anakapalli, Chinta Anuradha from Amalapuram (SC) and Vanga Geetha from Kakinada are all leading from their respective constituencies.
Picture Credit: STP/Sahara Samay/PTI/Atul Yadav /Indian Express