The 17th Lok Sabha elections have seen the highest voter turnout. It is also the time when the highest number of women Members of Parliament (MPs) were elected. Women representation at Lok Sabha now sits at 14%. There are 6 women ministers, who sworn in on May 30th, 2019. They constitute more than 10% of the Union Council of Ministers. Another welcoming change comes to the average age of MPs. It has reduced to 54 years. About 12% of MPs are below the age of 40.
716 women candidates contested the 2019 General Election. Out of which, 78 have been elected to the 17th Lok Sabha. In 2014, there were only 62 women MPs. This representation is slowly improving from 5% in the 1st Lok Sabha election in 1952.
In terms of numbers, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has 41 women MPs, out of 303 total seats of the party. TMC (Trinamool Congress) holds the highest percentage of women MPs from a party at 41%, as 9 out of 22 seats are women. INC (Indian National Congress) has 6 women MPs among the 52 total seats it holds. Here are some of the youngest women MPs:
1) Chandrani Murmu:
25-year-old Chandrani Murmu is the youngest MP. She defeated BJP’s two-time MP Ananta Nayak to win Keonjhar Lok Sabha seat in Odisha, contesting on Biju Janata Dal ticket.
2) Nusrat Jahan:
An actress by profession, 29-year-old MP won the seat from Basirhat in West Bengal. Contesting on Trinamool Congress ticket, she had a winning margin of 3.5 lakh votes.
3) Mimi Chakraborty:
The 30-year-old Bengali actress won the seat from Jadavpur in West Bengal with a margin of nearly 3 lakh votes. She contested on Trinamool Congress ticket.
4) Raksha Khadse:
Contesting on Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, 32-year-old Raksha Khadse won from Raver Lok Sabha seat in Jalgaon in Maharashtra.
Although it is a good sign that percentage of women MPs has increased in Indian politics over the years, it is still lower compared to countries like Rwanda (61%), South Africa (43%), UK (32%), USA (24%), and our neighboring country, Bangladesh (21%). Yet, the country seems to be going in the right direction. With each elected woman MP, India leads towards a better future.