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Participation and Performance of Women Candidates in the General Elections of India: An Analytical Study (1951-2009)

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Participation of women in the electoral process of India as contestants has been very abysmal since the inception of the electoral process of the country. Present study has been conceived in view of the demands raised by various political parties and different women organizations about introducing and passing of women’s reservation bill in the parliament so as to secure at least 33 % seats for women candidates across the country. In the present study attempt has been made to see how far women candidates have been given representation by national and state level political parties during all the general elections held in India since independence. The other areas covered in the study include the distribution of political parties during all the general elections held, female candidate fielded by parties in proportion to male candidates, their success rate, votes secured, forfeited deposits etc. the study is purely based on secondary data, retrieved from the official website of the Election Commission of India on October 21, 2013. The multiparty system in India has somewhere become the areas of concern, which in fact has heralded an era of coalition politics in country, where the number has grown exponentially and as of now more than 2000 political parties stand registered with the Election commission of India. On average mere 6.90 % women candidates have been chosen to parliament during each general election, while as on average 4.49 % women contestants have been fielded in each general election. Scenario of state political parties is more worrisome and in case of independent contestants the situation is quite displeasing.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 28)
R. Pandita, "Participation and Performance of Women Candidates in the General Elections of India: An Analytical Study (1951-2009)", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 28, pp. 128-149, 2014
Online since:
May 2014

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[1] T. Ramya (Tarh), "Political Representation of Tribal Women in Arunachal Pradesh: The Case of 2013 Panchayat Raj Election in Kurung Kumey District", SSRN Electronic Journal , 2014