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Women MPs more successful, qualified than men: Study

Even as women are set to get more political power in India, a study shows that women MPs were more successful and qualified than their male counterparts.

According to data prepared by the PRS Legislative Research, women candidates in elections were more successful than men. While 10 percent of all women candidates won elections, the corresponding figure for men was only six percent.

The education profile of female MPs was better than male MPs as 32 percent of women MPs had a post-graduate or doctoral degree. "The corresponding figure for men is 30 percent," says the study.

"While 42 percent of women MPs have a graduate degree, the number is 46 percent for men," it adds.

In the 14th Lok Sabha, 30 percent women had bachelor's degrees, and 58 percent had higher degrees.

The PRS study says the women MPs, on an average, are younger than their male counterparts.

"The average age of women MPs is 47 years while the average age of male MPs is 54 years. There are no women MPs over 70 years, while seven percent of the men in parliament are over 70 years old."

"A higher number of women below the age of 40 have been elected to the 15th Lok Sabha. While in the 14th Lok Sabha only 17 percent were below the age of 40, in the current Lok Sabha the figure stands at 29 percent," it says.

Other data on women candidates' and women MPs' performance is given below --

-The 15th Lok Sabha has 58 women MPs, constituting 11 percent of the newly-elected house.

-Of the larger states (having more than 20 seats in the Lok Sabha), Madhya Pradesh has the highest percentage of women MPs (21 percent) followed by West Bengal (17 percent) and Uttar Pradesh (15 percent).

-Until last year, women constituted only nine percent of the Lok Sabha, 10 percent of the Rajya Sabha and seven percent of state legislative assemblies.

-Nine percent of the candidates fielded and 12 of those elected were women.

-Of the major political parties (at least 15 seats in the Lok Sabha), the Trinamool Congress fielded the highest percentage of women candidates, and has the highest percentage of women MPs.

-Interestingly, for both the BJP and the Congress, women constitute about 11 percent of the candidates fielded, and 10 percent of those elected. (IANS)

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