The Kathmandu Post, 15 Nov 2017
The female voters are likely to decide the fate of the candidates in three provinces and 39 districts where they outnumber males. However, women candidates in these areas are few and far between.
According to the Election Commission (EC) records, the total number of the eligible voters across the country is 15,427,731. Among them 7,651,065 are women while the size of the male voters is slightly higher standing at 7,776,496. There are 170 voters from the third gender group.
Going by the records, women population is higher in three out of seven provinces where they may decide the election results.
Women voters outnumber men voters in Provinces 3, 4 and 7 which will elect 40 percent of total seats for both provincial and federal parliaments, elections for which will be held in two phases on November 26 and December 7.
Similarly, women population is higher in 39 districts.
Women outnumber men in all three districts in Kathmandu Valley, Kailali, Jhapa, Sunsari, Chitwan, Dang and Kanchanpur which have more electoral constituencies compared to others.
According to the census 2011, the total population of the country is 26,620,809. Among them 13,693,378 are women while the size of male population is 12,927,431.
“Despite outnumbering male voters in many places, the number of women candidates under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system is too low,” said Nepali Congress leader and activist Pushpa Bhusal. “This is due to lack of women pressure group mainly within the party and outside.”
The EC record shows three major parties have hardly fielded three women candidates for 37 electoral constituencies for the federal elections in the first phase while there are only five women candidates contesting for 72 electoral constituencies for the provincial assembly elections to be held on November 26.
The situation is no better for the second phase elections scheduled for December 7.
In the second phase where the elections will be held in 128 electoral constituencies for the federal parliament, women candidacy is below 8 percent. The EC’s record shows of the 1,742 candidates for the federal parliament, only 126 are women.
The three major parties who have higher prospect of wining the polls have only fielded 16 women candidates for the federal parliament in the second phase.