In a bid to ensure more participation of women in the electoral process, the Election Commission on Wednesday said that it has decided to make special arrangements in form of "all women managed polling stations" in the five states where assembly elections are to be held.
"As part of its firm commitment towards gender equality and greater constructive participation of women in the electoral process, the Commission has directed to set up 'All women managed polling stations' in each Assembly constituency, " Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi told a press conference here.
He also said that the entire polling staff, including the police and security personnel, in such centres shall be woman.
The EC's directions came in view of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Looking at the customs and social practice of some areas, the EC also directed to separate polling stations for the women.
"The Commission has directed that in areas where women folk feel inhibited in mingling with male members because of some local custom or social practice, a separate polling station for women can be provided after getting approval of the Election Commission, " a statement said.
The Commission also elaborated that in big villages if two polling stations are to be provided for the village, one may be provided for male electors and the other for female electors.
"In polling stations provided exclusively for women electors, polling personnel also should normally be women, " it added.