There is an Absence of Women Empowerment in Goan Politics – Here is the Report

Despite being on top in the socio-economic indicators such as literacy rate, life expectancy and per capita income in the country the Goan Women still remains unnoticed in the state politics. According to the sources, Women constitutes around 49.32 per cent of the total population in Goa but as far as the party tickets are concerned, three political parties have issued just 9 tickets to the women candidates in Goa. Goa talks about the Women Empowerment and BJP was ideally promoting this concept in Goa but is that is sufficient enough when they do not allow the single seat for the women candidate? The lone Woman candidate Ms. Alina Saldhana is presently representing the constituency where her husband had a good hold but is that the only reason BJP gave one ticket to Woman Candidate this time? Why there is an absence of Women Empowerment in Goan Politics compared to the rest of India? Read the complete report here.      

The sources stated that the Women in Goa have suppressed the rest of the country in all the socio-economic aspects, such as literacy, per capita income and life expectancy. According to the sources, around 84.66 percent women are literate in the state compared to the 66.46 in the rest of India and Goa has 48.9 percent salaried rural women while the rest of the country this figure is hardly 5 percent which is negligible compared to Goa.

Despite the existence of such progressive figures the women in the state, the women have been kept back in the local political arena by giving minimum stakes to the women candidates. The sources have revealed that, in the current assembly polls, the two main national parties have nominated just four women candidates. The ruling BJP, which is contesting 36 seats, has named just one woman candidate, Ms. Alina Saldanha, sitting MLA from Cartolim. In the 2012 elections, the BJP had not fielded any woman candidate; Saldanha would win in a by-election later that year.

According to the sources, the Congress is contesting about 36 seats in the 40 member Goa assembly polls and has given the ticket to three women candidates. Jenifer Monseratte (Sitting MLA from Taleigao), Savitri Kavlekar from Sanguem and Urmila Naik from Marcaim Goa. It may be recalled that, in the last assembly elections, the Congress had fielded only two women candidates out of whom Ms. Monserrate won.

Now let us take a look at the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party). According to the sources, the AAP has given the highest representation to women candidates compared to BJP and Congress. AAP has nominated 5 women candidates in Goa. Ursula D’Souza from Aldona, Loretta D’Souza from Vasco, Cecille Rodriguez from Taleigao, Yoyla Fernandes from Benaulim and Shraddha Khalap from Mapusa. As far as the regional parties are concerned, they have not given representation to any woman candidate.


According to the sources, Goa being the only place in India which has the women population 49.32 percent and our state has been portrayed as progressive women friendly state and despite the above fact only one woman candidate got elected in the 40 seat Goa assembly in the year 2012. Though Ms. Alina Saldhana was elected later on in the by-poll following the sudden demise of her husband Mr. Mathani Saldhana.


It is very sad to see that such low representation comes in a state that has had a woman chief minister, Shashikala Kakodkar, from 1973 to 1979. “The role of women in political decision-making is totally absent in Goa. The progressiveness of the state is a media image that has been projected. The exploitative side of Goan society has been kept hidden under wraps,” said Sabina Martins, convener, Goa Bachao Abhiyan.

Martins felt women in the state are not vocal and assertive of their rights. It is this very reason, in fact, that some politicians cite while justifying the denial of tickets to women. “We are willing to give tickets. It is just that there are not many women who are ready to come forward,” claimed Maharashtra Gomantak Party patron Ramkrishna Sudhin Dhavalikar. His party, a key player in Goa, has not nominated any woman candidate.


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