It happened in Bihar and it is happening in UP again. Women used their right to vote in much more numbers than men in the state. This year, when parties came up with special initiatives to impress women voters through their manifestos, the female voters also showed their support in bringing up a political party in their state.
Information from the Election Commission shows that about 63.26% of woman voters in the country’s most populated state used their right in the seven-phase election that concluded on Wednesday.
However, men who voted were counted to be just 59.43%. This is not the first time that women are coming out in larger numbers than men to vote. It was the same scenario in 2012. Then it was by the margin of 1.6 per cent and this time it is by 4% that women voters have surpassed men.
Interestingly, during the 2007 UP polls, when Chief Minister, Mayawati, came to power, more male voters voted for her than female voters. At that time, the ratio was 49.35 men voters to 41.92 female voters.
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Coming back to the 2015 Bihar polls in which Janata Dal (U) came to power and Nitish Kumar was made the Chief Minister. Even he focussed his campaigning on women voters. He talked about many women-centric initiatives like liquor ban in the state, bicycles for school girls, reservation for women in jobs etc.
In other states like Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand as well, similar trend of more women voters has been observed.
Sources in the EC told ET that the trend is indicative of increasing access to education for women in these states. In the north-eastern state of Manipur, women came out to vote in great numbers. The state, known to have gender parity in the education system, saw 47% women voters in comparison to 44% of men until 11 am on March 8, in Phase-II of Manipur elections. Even in Punjab, 78.12% women voted while percentage of men was 76.69%. Uttarakhand saw 69.34% vs 62.28% among women and men respectively.
Picture Credit- Hindustan Times