It has been observed that in Karnataka, 5% women contesting elections manage a win on an average, while in the past two elections, the numbers were even lower, at 3 per cent
An analysis of the last six Vidhan Sabha elections in Karnataka shows that women politicians have not had a great success rate in the state. From 1989 to 2013, nine out of 10 women candidates were rejected by the voters, with eight of them even losing their deposits, according to a report by The Times of India.
When compared to other major states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, women candidates are far less likely to win in Karnataka.
It has been observed that in Karnataka, 5 per cent women contesting elections manage a win on an average, while in the past two elections, the numbers were even lower, at 3 per cent. Out of the 641 women contestants, the electorate favoured only 38.
Many experts have said women coming from bigger political parties have better chances of winning in polls and it has been seen that women mostly contest alone or through smaller parties. However, there have been cases of women candidates from Congress being denied tickets in the state.
Shobha Karandlaje from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, “The number of women entering mainstream politics itself is less. If more women who are in social service and working closely with people enter politics, they will be chosen as parties ultimately need candidates capable of winning.”
Karnataka not having elected a woman leader shows the mindset of the voters, according to Khushbu Sundar from Congress. “Karnataka has not seen a woman chief minister, while neighboring state Tamil Nadu or West Bengal have been under women rule. They need to believe women are capable of taking up the responsibility of serving them.”
Many have opined that reservation has helped the case of women in power. YSR Congress’ RJ Roja said, “Reservation is certainly the way forward for better representation. The system is dominated by men and with every passing election, politics is getting dirty and this puts off women. Only those with some political background or people like me who are already popular are able to survive.”
It will help if people know and have confidence in the women candidates, Anila Saldanha from Goa BJP said. She thinks that more women need to get involved in activities “dealing with people’s welfare”.Meanwhile, Basavaraj Horatti of JD(S) blames major parties for not having enough women candidates on their team. She also says women who usually do the ground work and have a greater connect with people ultimately get chosen to contest elections.