4 Decades On, India Still Struggling To Empower Women Voters

BANGALORE: India still witnesses imbalanced sex ratio when it comes to registration of voters. Recently, the Election Commission brought out some pretty surprising statistics which shows India’s continuing story of gender inequities since 1971, during the time when the gender break-up of electorates was first recorded, reports Tina Edwin of IndiaSpend.

Out of the overall 23.16 million first-time voters enrolled voters for the 16th Lok Sabha polls,  just 41 percent of the 18-19 year-olds registered voters are women, 96 lakh of them as against 1.4 crore new male voters. In India, states like Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chandigarh and Gujarat have the most skewed electoral sex ratios.

Ashok Jain, chief electoral officer, said, "We have been consistently motivating and encouraging women voters by engaging them in several SVEEP (Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation) activities," reports TOI.

Though the time has changed with improved literacy, intervention of government agencies and aggressive efforts of political parties to bring more people to vote, it is the patriarchal nature of Indian society that fails to bring in more female voters.

With a motive to engage more women, the EC has launched various campaigns like appealing to them to vote through household items like gas cylinders and advertisements on all means of media. Not just this, even while registration, the election officers ensured that more women participate in the process by asking men to come with their wives so that they too receive voter ID cards.

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