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Parties Line Up To Woo Women Voters  

| Updated: March 14, 2024 12:33

More women are voting in Lok Sabha and Assembly Polls in recent years

With the 18th Lok Sabha polls round the corner, all political parties have recognised that they must capitalise on women as a vote bank. As more women are getting an education and joining the workforce, it is to be expected that more women will exercise their right to franchise. 

The value of ‘Nari Shakti’ has prompted parties to offer welfare schemes and freebies for women. BJP’s ‘Ladli Behna’ scheme is being seen as a trump card which influenced the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh held last year. Similarly, the Congress party’s cash handouts to women and free bus rides were apparently significant factors in their win in Karnataka.

The Centre recently slashed prices of LPG cylinders with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying it would empower women. The BJP has also claimed credit for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, known as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament last year. It seeks to provide 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. 

The Central government’s welfare schemes like Ujjwala, PM Awas Yojana, Swachh Bharat and Mudra have also appealed to women voters. 

Regional parties too have joined the bandwagon. The Himachal Pradesh government recently announced monthly aid of Rs 1,500 to women aged between 18-60 years. Not to be left behind, AAP has announced that all women above 18 years of age in Delhi will receive Rs 1,000 per month in 2024-25. 

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a remuneration hike of Rs 750 per month for ASHA and anganwadi workers in the state. 

Rise in female voters  

The Election Commission of India (ECI) in a recent report said that nearly 96.88 crore are registered to vote for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Female voters have increased from around 43 crore in 2019 to over 47 crore for the upcoming 2024 polls. Women voter turnout could go up to 55% by 2047, it is projected. 

The gender ratio in the electoral rolls also favours women with new voters added having more women than men. Over 2.63 crore new voters have been added, of which around 1.41 crore are women and 1.22 crore men, according to the recent ECI report. 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, female voter turnout rate was higher than that of males. This figure had been declining since 1991, the report added. Hence, this was a significant development. 

The situation in the states is similar. In the 23 states, where Assembly elections were conducted in the last five years, women’s voter turnout was reportedly higher than that of men in 18 states.

Also Read: BJP Releases Second List of Candidates, Includes Seven From Gujarat

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