Representation of women in Lok Sabha
Representation of women members in Lok Sabha and their participation in general elections as contestants are increasing. General Election- 2009 sent the highest number of women in Lok Sabha, 59, while in previous House the number was 45. (See Graph 1)
15th Lok Sabha had 10.86% of women membership with 13th Lok Sabha too being close to it in having 9.02% of women members (See Graph 2). From 1996, Lower House always had at least 40 women elects.
The lowest number of women elected to the Lok Sabha was in 1977 when only 19 women reached the Lower House, which was only 3.50% of the total Lok Sabha seats (542 at that time). There was no other occasion in the history when the women did not even reach the mark of 20.
As far as women contestants is concerned, the highest number of women aspirants, 599, were in fray in 1996, followed by 556 women candidates in 2009 and 355 in 2004. It was in 1980 for the 7th Lok Sabha when the women contestants crossed the mark of 100 as prior to that the number of women contestants was always below 100.
Women participation in contesting election has been much lower as compared to men. Up till Ninth General Election women participation was 30 times lesser then men, though Tenth onwards the participation improved (See Graph 3).
But the winning percentage of women contestants had always been higher with respect to male contestant’s right from first election to creation of 15th Lok Sabha, which is clearly understood from Graph 4.