Women’s reservation Bill cannot wait any longer
It is disheartening to witness that even 75 years after Independence, Parliament lacks substantial representation from half the population, with women holding just 14% of the seats.
A promising start
- Leading CMs: Just a decade ago, three of India’s largest States, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, were in the spotlight for being led by women Chief Ministers.
- Leading Leaders: While Sushma Swaraj led the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sonia Gandhi served as both President of the Congress Party and Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance.
- President of India: Also, India had its first woman President, Pratibha Patil around the same time.
- Pre-Independence era: From the pre-Independence era when several women’s organisations demanded political representation for women.
- Rising demand: It can be traced back to 1955 when a government appointed committee recommended that 10% of seats in the Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies should be reserved for women.
- National Perspective Plan for Women (1988): The National Perspective Plan for Women (1988) recommended that 30% of seats in all elected bodies should be reserved for women. This recommendation was reiterated in the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, which was adopted in 2001.