News-CRUX-10     8th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, according to Election Commission data, the number of women candidates contesting the Lok Sabha election has significantly risen, from just 45 in 1957 to 726 in 2019, reflecting a notable increase in the percentage of women in Parliament from 4.5% in 1957 to 14.4% in 2019.

Women Representation in Lok Sabha

  • Historical Success Rates: In 1957, 48.88% of women candidates won, whereas in 2019, it dropped to 10.74%.
  • Declining Male Success: Male candidates' winning percentage decreased from 31.7% in 1957 to 6.4% in 2019.
  • Changing Dynamics: The increase in the number of candidates of both sexes contrasts with the stagnant number of Lok Sabha seats.
  • Challenges from Political Parties: Women's rights activist notes political parties' reluctance to offer opportunities to women, often assigning them difficult seats.

Women's Reservation Act, 2023

  • Reservation of Seat : Reservation of one-third of all seats for women in Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  • Rotation of Seats: The act proposes the rotation of seats reserved for women after each delimitation, as determined by a law made by Parliament.
  • Duration: The reservation will be provided for a period of 15 years.   However, it shall continue till such date as determined by a law made by Parliament.
  • Current Representation:

oWomen constitute 15% of the 17th Lok Sabha and approximately 9% on average in state legislative assemblies.

oThe 2015 Report on the Status of Women in India highlighted the inadequate representation of women in political decision-making roles and within political parties.