New Delhi, Nov 22: Delhi has seen a woman chief minister for 15 years. The city has safety for women as a major issue, ever since the horrendous gangrape incident of December 16 last year but what is surprising is that only 17 women in all (from all parties) are contesting this year's assembly elections.
Compared to 51 lakh women voters in the city state, the number of women contestants is undoubtedly an under-representation.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) contest Shazia Ilmi told the NDTV that her party had chosen women candidates for the December 4 elections but since the number of application was very less, not many women candidates could be ultimately fielded. It essentially speaks about a male bastion, she said.
Former BJP chief minister of Delhi and currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, also told the channel that it is unfortunate that the number of women candidates was so less. She said she has always been in favour of reservation for women's representation and if we can not give them 33 per cent representation, we should at least settle for 20 per cent.
Last time, only three women were elected to the Delhi assembly
Delhi has 50 per cent reservation for women representation at the corporation level but since there is no such provision at the assembly level, it is the women's interest that ultimately suffers. Speaking to NDTV, Congress contestant Kiran Walia rued that there was not enough women and said she wanted more women to take up the challenge.
In 2008, only three women were elected to the Delhi assembly.