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Reason to worry: Women didn't vote big in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar

Thursday, 22 May 2014 - 10:12pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: Zee Research Group

As India celebrates the overall robust 10% plus increase in women voter turnout comes the bad news that the states with highest women voters actually registered a relatively lower turnout. 

These states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar. The actual women turn out in all these states was below 60%. The national women turnout in 2014 has been pegged at 65.31%. 

UP, which has the highest women electorate at 6.2 crore, observed 57.4% women voter turnout. The trend persisted in Maharashtra, the second most women electorate state (3.7 crore), with women voter turnout pegged this time populous state 57.9%. 

Bihar with a women electorate of 2.9 crore (fifth most) observed a 57.6 % women turnout. 

As a matter of fact the overall voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh (58.3 %), Maharashtra (60.3 %) and Bihar (56.2 %) too has been lower than the national average of 65 %. 

The notable exception to the trend when it comes to women electorate versus actual voter turnout is Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. These two states are third and fourth in rank of women electorate in the country but both experienced a 70 % plus women voter turnout. 

Jammu and Kashmir that  stands at number 20 in terms of women electorate reported lowest women voter turnout (48.21 per cent) during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

However, the good news is that female voter turnout (in %) was higher than male turnout in 16 States and UTs.

The win %age for women candidates continues to pose a challenge. In all 668 women candidates contested during 16th Lok Sabha elections out of which merely 61 (9.13) emerged victorious. 

During 2014 Lok Sabha elections out of 1325 fielded candidates by the three major political parties (Congress, BJP, and AAP) just about 12 per cent happened to be women.

While INC fielded the highest (60) women candidates, AAP announced 59 female candidates for 2014 polls and the saffron party selected only 38 women candidates.

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