A total of 600 polling booths out of the 58,186 voting stations to be set up for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka on April 18 and 23 will be managed by women personnel, an election official said on Monday.
"As part of ensuring gender equality and constructive participation of women in the electoral process, the Commission has directed to set up 'all-women managed polling stations'," said a statement from the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar's office.
These booths will have women as polling staff, police and security personnel.
The state will have 58,186 voting stations for election to the 28 Lok Sabha seats in two phases -- on April 18 for 14 seats and on April 23 for another 14 seats. Vote count will be held on May 23.
The southern state has a total of 5.03 crore registered voters.
The number of voting stations to be set up has been increased by 7%, from 54,265 polling booths in 2014 general elections, the statement said.
While this initiative has been taken to ensure participation of women in the electoral process, it should be noted that not many have been actively engaged in politics. Seeking reforms to the way political parties distribute seats, women from the state had taken to protests at Freedom Park on Friday demanding that political parties be mandated to reserve 50% of seats for women candidates. The protest was organised by â€˜Shaktiâ€™ a non-partisan political collective, created to empower and enable more women to foray into politics.
The women took to sitting on one knee during the protest to highlight the lack of female representation in parliament, with several noting that women do not have 50% representation.