There has been a 235.72 per cent increase in female electors since the 1971 elections and their participation has exceeded that of men to stand at more than 67 per cent in the 2019 general election, as per Chief Election Commissioner of India.
“India has witnessed a 235.72 per cent increase in female electors since the 1971 elections and after seven decades and 17 General Elections since Independence, women’s participation in India has exceeded that of men and stood at more than 67 per cent in the 2019 General Election.”
“The gender gap, a crucial parameter, which was -16.71 per cent in 1962, has not only closed but reversed to +0.17 per cent in 2019,” said Sushil Chandra at an international webinar on the theme ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters’ on Friday which was attended by nearly hundred delegates from 24 countries.
Highlighting various initiatives taken by the ECI to enhance women participation, including associating more women as the polling booth officials, Chandra said that a larger number of all women managed polling stations, creche facility at polling stations, separate toilets and waiting area at the polling booths, ensuring ease of registration with women Block level Officers motivating women in their own socio-cultural milieu, amongst others led to it.
During his address, Sushil Chandra also elaborated on the concept of Absentee, voter facilitation, introduced by ECI in 2020 to ensure voting facility at the doorstep especially for 80+ senior citizens, PwDs and Covid-affected voters, adding, “Such postal ballot facility had been successfully implemented across six state Assembly elections, including Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UT Puducherry, which had a cumulative elector base of 73.6 million.”
In the last five state Assembly elections, 4.5 times higher electors participated in the electoral process through postal ballots and there is scope for widening the outreach and facilitation efforts, he said, adding that there are around 15 million 80+ electors today in the country.