Explained: Women reservation bill

Women have been constantly fighting for rights and equal opportunities and for their identities. The rise if feminism in India along with movements such as #metoo gives the essence that the things are getting better for women. Whatever we feel or see around us, is only the tip of the ice berg. Delhi, the capital of the country and which is one of the most advanced city in India has only 11.7% women labour workforce as of 2015-16.(NSSO).

The women reservation bill demands for 33 % representation of women in Lok Sabha and all the state legislative assemblies. The bill was first introduced in 1996. IT was introduced again in 1998, 1999, and 2002. The current version of the bill was introduced in 2008 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power. In 2010, when the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha the Lok Sabha did not vote for the bill. According to the moneycontrol.com The SP, BSP, RJD and JD opposed the bill. The bill was lapsed after the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.  

Did 73rd and 74th amendment help?

Even the passage of 73rd and 74th Amendment Act of the Constitution, which reserves one-third of all seats in Panchayats and urban local bodies for women, does little to gloss over the lack of representation in bodies that actually determine and facilitate important policy decisions. The culture of Pati Pradhan is eminent where women are elected as proxy representatives and Men are the real power holders.

“Poor participation of women in Parliament has a direct impact on the priorities and assumptions of policies and legislation. There will be a qualitative change in governance with the inclusion of women in decision-making processes.
Political parties will have to, or will soon be forced to, recognize that if Parliament does not reflect contemporary trends in women’s education and excellence in varied fields, they will face a crisis of credibility,” writes noted civil rights activist Aruna Roy, in a 2016 column for The Hindu.

BJD leader Naveen Patnaik has called for a 33% reservation of Women in Legislation and has strived for 33% Women candidates from his party in Lok Sabha 2019 elections. Other leaders should follow suit. This way we will have a more inclusive society and more values.

Read more | Why do we celebrate ‘INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY’ ?

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