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Women Voters Outnumber Men In Fifth Phase Of Polls

Women Voters Outnumber Men In Fifth Phase Of Polls

For the first time in this election cycle, women voters outnumbered men in the fifth phase of polling held on May 20th. This phase saw voting in 49 Lok Sabha constituencies across eight states and Union territories. According to data released by the Election Commission on Thursday, the overall turnout of women voters was 67.18%, slightly higher than the 67.02% turnout for men in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

This marks a significant reversal of past trends. Out of the eight states and Union territories that went to the polls in the fifth phase, only one union territory and two states, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, and West Bengal, recorded a lower turnout of women voters. The overall voter turnout in the fifth phase was 62.2%, a slight increase from the 61.82% recorded in these constituencies in 2019. Specifically, 63% of eligible women and 61.48% of eligible men cast their votes this time around.

According to the Election Commission, over 8.95 crore electors were eligible to vote in the fifth phase, including 4.69 crore men, 4.26 crore women, and 5,409 third-gender individuals. According to reports in the earlier four phases of the election, men consistently had a higher turnout than women. The differences were as follows: 0.15 percentage points in the first phase, 0.57 percentage points in the second phase, 2.48 percentage points in the third phase, and 0.85 percentage points in the fourth phase.

According to data from the Election Commission, in the fifth phase of voting, held on May 20th, women voters outnumbered men in 24 out of 49 constituencies. Notably, 22 of these constituencies also saw higher women voter turnout in the 2019 elections.

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Key constituencies with higher women turnout in both 2019 and 2024 include Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran, and Hajipur in Bihar; Chatra, Kodarma, and Hazaribagh in Jharkhand; and Raebareli, Amethi, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Faizabad, Kaiserganj, Gonda, and Bangaon in Uttar Pradesh.
The turnout gap was particularly wide in Bihar, where 61.58% of women voted compared to 52.42% of men, and in Jharkhand, with a 68.65% turnout for women versus 58.08% for men. In Kodarma, Jharkhand, the difference was striking, with 70% of women voting compared to 54.15% of men, a gap of 15.85 percentage points, up from 9.97 points in 2019.

In 2019, 24 out of 49 seats had higher women turnout. This year, however, Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh and Sundargarh in Odisha reversed this trend. Conversely, Hooghly and Uluberia in West Bengal, which had higher male turnout in 2019, saw a marginally higher turnout of women voters this time.

In a notable shift from the 2019 elections, voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Maharashtra, and Odisha increased, while Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal experienced a decline. Out of 49 constituencies, 27 recorded a decrease in voter participation, whereas 22 showed an upswing.

Baramulla, in particular, witnessed a significant rise in turnout from 34.3 percent in 2019 to 59.1 percent this year. Marginal increases were also observed in Amethi and Raebareli. However, Mumbai North saw a drop, with turnout falling from 59.97 percent in 2019 to 57.02 percent this time. The initial three phases of the Lok Sabha elections displayed a downward trend in voter turnout compared to 2019.

In the first phase on April 19, involving 102 constituencies, turnout dropped to 66.14 percent from 69.29 percent in 2019. The second phase on April 26, covering 88 seats, saw turnout decrease to 66.71 percent from 69.43 percent. The third phase on May 7, with 93 constituencies voting, had a turnout of 65.68 percent, slightly down from 66.58 percent in 2019.

Conversely, the fourth phase on May 13 marked an increase in voter participation. The 96 constituencies that voted in this phase recorded a turnout of 69.16 per cent, a slight rise from 68.8 per cent in 2019.
The Election Commission (EC) noted that the turnout for the fifth phase might be updated due to repolling in two polling stations in Kandhamal, Odisha, on Thursday. The EC emphasized that the final turnout figures will only be confirmed post-counting once postal ballots are included in the total vote count.

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