Kerala's legislature would have a double-digit female presence in the state assembly for the first time since 1996 when there were 13 women MLAs. There will be ten ruling-party MLAs and one lone woman in the opposition, KK Rema of the UDF-backed RMP.
The winners include O S Ambika - Attingal, Veena George - Aranmula, CK Asha - Vaikom, J Chinchurani - Chadayamangalam, Daleema Jojo - Aroor, U Prathibha – Kayamku, R Bindu - Irinjalakuda, K Shantakumari - Kongad and Jameela, Kanathil - Koyilandy.
Surprisingly, 17 of the 103 women who contested came in second place, showing that the LDF surge contributed to their defeats and that many of the victories were close calls. Shanimol Usman, Bindu Krishna, Shoba Surendran, PK Jayalakshmi, and Padmaja Venugopal were among the major losers, despite keeping the fight tight.
It is predicted that there will be two or three female ministers. Shailaja has already proven herself to be a formidable opponent. The other two candidates may be C K Asha and Veena George.
Although the LDF government's women-centric policies are unlikely to change dramatically, Pinarayi Vijayan is expected to give adequate attention to this voter group, which voted for the front in large numbers.
“More than other parties, Left has groomed its women leaders from grassroots level. Since the present government has already announced much of its welfare programmes which are expected to continue, one can expect something for the women voters from the new government,” opined D Dhanuraj, chairman-CPPR.