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Women’s Groups Demand At Least 33% Tickets for Female Contestants in Lok Sabha Elections 2019

An 11-point ‘WOMANIFESTO’ focusing on women’s equal representation in Parliament, gender budgeting, increased expenditure on health and education, etc. was released at the press meet held today.
33 per cent Reservation for Women

From left to right; Mrs. Bulbul Das, Supreme Court Lawyer, Mrs. Padmini Kumar from Joint women program, Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research, Mrs. Gayatri Sharma from Women Power Connect, Dr. Anjali Mahta from Justice Seekers.

On March 6, women’s organisations from across India assembled at the Press Club of India to issue an appeal to political parties to provide at least 33 per cent tickets to female contestants, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

The press release issued by the organisations stated that an 11-point manifesto ‘WOMANIFESTO’ which focuses on the areas of women’s equal representation in Parliament, gender budgeting, increase in health, education, and safety expenditure at national and local level, etc., was released in the press conference. The manifesto created by the women’s organisations was also distributed among the political parties to bring the issues into notice.

The press release noted that India is one of the world's worst countries in terms of women in politics. Data shows that there are only 91 women representatives in both houses of Parliament in India. In the Lok Sabha, out of the 542 members, only 64 are women. In the Rajya Sabha on the other hand, there are only 27 female MPs among 237 members.

The release further stated that, according to a study conducted by Inter-Parliamentary Union, India ranks 153rd out of 193 countries as of December 1, 2018. The condition of women representatives at the Panchayat level is slightly better with 44.2 per cent representation. However, this is also not sufficient to fulfill the 50 per cent reservation for women in gram panchayat and urban local bodies.

“The political parties should show genuine commitment towards the issue in the coming days and field more women candidates even before the bill is passed in the Parliament,” the release stated.  

Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research, speaking at the event said that both “national and regional parties need to give more tickets to women candidates in order to increase their participation and influence policies that reflect women’s holistic development”.

The press conference was attended by several eminent personalities and rights activists including Dr N. Hamsa, President, Women Power Connect; Archana Jha from Centre for Social Research; Bulbul Das, Supreme Court Lawyer; Padmini Kumar from Joint Women’s Program; Tanya D’Souza from Young Women’s Christian Association of India, Gayatri Sharma from Indian Women’s Press Corps and Dr Anjali Mahta from Justice Seekers.

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