Women empowerment seems to be a topic oblivious to the mainstream election discourse in Haryana. The number of women MPs contested and won from Haryana shows the lack of interest by the national and regional parties in the state on nurturing the involvement of women in politics.
According to the data with the election commission, only four women MPs were elected from Haryana in the last 40 years. This has to be read in the backdrop of increasing crime rates against women in the state and poor sex ratio.
The four women who managed to contest and win the elections are; Kailasho Saini, who won from Kurukshetra two times, Kumari Selja, who was elected twice from Ambala and once from Sirsa on a reserved seat, Shruti Chaudhary who represented the Bhiwani-Mahendergarh seat once and Sudha Chaudhary from Mahendergarh.
Interestingly, out of the 10 constituencies, as many as 6 constituencies haven’t sent even a single woman to the parliament over the years since its inception.
During the previous Lok Sabha elections, there were zero elected women candidates in Haryana. This is despite major political parties, except BJP, fielded three women, including INLD’s Kusum Sherwal from Ambala, Congress’ Shruti Choudhary from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh and Aam Aadmi Party’s Balwinder Kaur from Kurukshetra. However, BJP has not bothered to field even a single woman.
However, the number of elected women candidates was 2 during the 2009 elections.
Political parties haven’t announced the complete list of candidates contesting this time in the state.
According to the statistics tabled during an assembly session in September 2018, there has been more than 100% increase in cases pertaining to the kidnapping of women in Haryana since September 2014-August 2015. The number of rape cases registered in the state showed an increase of 47%, which is definitely a worrying trend.