Thursday, 8 March 2018

Urban women voter enrolment a worry


8/3/2018

PUNE: Women voter enrolment in the urban areas of Pune is lower than that of the rural belt, reveals a recent assessment by the Election Commission. The overall gender ratio of enrolment in Pune district is also as low as districts such as Beed, Latur, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Buldhana and Nandurbar.

The detailed survey of gender assessment and enrolment of women voters showed that the gender ratio of women voters in Pune is 909 for every 1,000 males in the district. While Pune may have improved in terms of gender ratio of enrolment from 901 for every 1,000 males in the 2014 elections, it increased to 904 last year and finally to 909 this year.

The Election Commission is worried about the state’s gender ratio (905 for every 1,000 males) as well. It was 894 in 2014, followed by 900 last year and finally 905 in January this year. The commission has directed the districts lagging in terms of gender ratio to take measures and increase women voter enrolment ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

The poll panel has issued a detailed guideline to all election officers to improve the scenario address by reaching out to woman voters. On Saturday, a ‘marathon’ was organised to encourage women voter enrolment.

Deputy election officer (Pune district) Monica Singh said, “From understanding why women do not get enrolled to facilitating easy enrolment process and conducting mass campaigns, steps will be taken throughout the year to increase the gender ratio of women voter enrolment.”

The rural and urban divide is also visible in terms of gender ratio. While rural constituencies have registered a better gender ratio, the scenario is not encouraging in seats in the city.

“Interestingly Kasba Peth constituency has a gender ratio of 1,015 — highest in the district followed by Junnar (942) from the rural constituency in the district. Bhosari constituency has registered the lowest women enrolment (818),” Singh said.

A survey conducted by Pune-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics for Mumbai ahead of last year’s civic elections had found that 75% women in Mumbai did not vote and women voters scored lower in terms of polling consistency at almost every election. The study had suggested the importance of reaching out to women voters for enrolment and voting. It had found that the large population who refrained from voting were the educated ones from the city areas.

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