Thursday, July 18, 2024

A Transformative Step Toward Women’s Empowerment

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The Modi government’s decision to implement 33% reservation for women in Parliament is a transformative step toward women’s empowerment

Women are an indispensable part of any country’s society. They are what truly makes any society whole.

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It has been held in various researches that empowerment directly contributes to a nation’s progress.

That is applicable for every society.

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In the light of that decision the Modi government has taken a truly monumental step-fulfilling the long standing demand for a 33% reservation for women in the seats to the Parliament with the Union cabinet clearing the reservation bill to be tabled in the upcoming special session of Parliament.

The Demand

The demand for reservation of seats for women has quite a long history. It dates to the 1970s when the need for a greater role for women in the public sphere of society was felt, especially in politics.

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However with patriarchy reining strong, women continue to remain subjugated until the 1980s when the demand for reservation for women in seats in the Parliament and state legislative assemblies was made.

It was during the transformational tenure of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao that the demand for women’s reservation of seats was fulfilled at the local level.

The 73rd and 74th amendment acts of 1992 and 1993 granted a 33% reservation for women in seats at all three levels of panchayats and municipalities (including women belonging to Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes) as members and chairpersons.

However, at the parliamentary and state legislative assembly level this reservation was missing.

The Decision

The Union Cabinet on Monday (September 18) approved the¬†Women Reservation Bill¬†that grants 33 percent reservation for women in both the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India’s Parliament) and state assemblies.

The first bill for women’s reservation of seats to the parliamentary and legislative assemblies was tabled way back in 1996, but 27 years down the line it is only in 2023 that the Modi government has approved it.

Issues relating to greater representation of women in political arena of the public sphere had been discussed even prior to Independence, and in the Constituent Assembly. In independent India, the issue got momentum only in the 1970s.

Hence the transformative step towards women’s empowerment will contribute to the overall nation building process.

 

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