It is a fact that not many women, unlike men, can mobilise funds to contest polls. One often quoted reason by male politicians is that women are not a good bet to win seats. But statistics show that men too are forfeiting their deposits. For example, in the 2013 assembly polls, of the total 2,772 contestants, 81pc lost their deposits. In case of women, it was 83pc. Whether men or women, unless they have backing of a well established or popular party, they find it tough to face poll battle. Even voters are not consciously making it a point to vote for women candidates.
Recently, JD(S) State President HD Kumaraswamy, while interacting with the media, said that it was his father H D Deve Gowda as prime minister who introduced the Women's Reservation Bill, which stipulates 33pc reservation for women in Lok Sabha and assemblies. Gowda last week wrote a letter to the prime minister seeking the reservation. The BJP is silent over the issue. Parties, which have hardly any presence in Lok Sabha, are batting for the bill.
The Lok Sabha has never seen unanimity while debating the bill. Since 1996, the bill had been introduced 5 times. With the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in May 2014, the bill lapsed. The present House has not yet touched the subject.
Women have 50pc reservation in local bodies since 2013. It began with 33pc reservation in 1993 and later increased to 50pc in Karnataka.