Women Voters in India and their Position in Indian Democracy

               According to the statistics of the Election Commission of India, gender-gap has been narrowed in terms of voter turnout in India, and women voters would play an important role in the upcoming Parliamentary election.  It was almost equal in 16th Lok Sabha Election ( male voter turnout was 67.09%, while female voter turnout was 65.30%). Historically, women voters’ influence in Indian politics is increasing. It is witnessing that women in India is politically empowered, and they have their equal right to cast their democratic right without gender force. Even the government has been reserved 33% seats for the women.  But what would be the solution of the gender gap and gender discrimination in Indian Society increasing daily. It is evident that status of women in Indian Society still depends on and is determined the male mentality towards women. Women are treated mostly as sexual object, and they are still the easy component of sexual torture and violence.                         It is a shame that women voters’ turnout and incidents of harassment against women in various forms are paralleled.  According to the National Crime Records Bureau (2016), 39 women used to face violence in every hour and it is in increasing status.  The report also stated that four women were victims of rape in every hour.  ‘Cruelty by the husband or his relatives’ is in alarming stage.  Sexual harassment of women in the workplace is remarkably in up-ward day by day. 

                 Then, where is the democratic safe guard and protection for women in this largest democracy, while women population has a great role in this democracy? Is women protection meant the enactment of laws only?

                  The government has taken the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme to deal proactively with discrimination against the girl child. Unfortunately, it is on a publicity of the government that it is working at best to consider the peaceful survival of women in India because 47% of the allotted fund has been expended for communication-related activities, while it was only 5% for girls education. The gender budgeting is also significantly in sufficient to protect this valuable section of India. 

                  Surprisingly, women are not getting priority in planning and programming for their development. It is dominated by men. Their participation as well as representation in politics as well as in India’s democracy is an important change. But it is mainly dominated by the male counterparts. The whole system was dominated by male and male politics. The empowerment of women is not being ensured because the women are still dependents of a male attached to them. The prime focus of the reservation and participation of women at grass root level would be policy function and an agenda of election. The female folk would be used as puppet to male. So, increasing rate of violence against women and lack in proper justice would not be reduced for safe and secure space in the society. So, gender discrimination was, it is till existing and to be continued. Therefore, time has come to think the issue and sharing of gender space is urgently needed. The female folk should think further before casting their votes.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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