POLITICS

Sonia Gandhi urges Modi to use power to pass Women’s Reservation Bill in the lower house.

Reservation

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi urged Narendra Modi to use his majority in the Lower House to pass the long pending Women’s Reservation Bill.

In a first, Gandhi wrote a letter to the Prime Minister highlighting the significance of the bill and stating that the Congress was always supportive of the legislation, and would continue to be.

The Women’s Reservation Bill that was passed by the Upper House in 2011, remains pending ever since in the Lok Sabha for some or the other reason.

This bill will provide a one-third reservation to women, that is, 33% of all seats in the lower house, as compared to a current low of 10% in both the houses combined. It provides 33% reservation to women but proposed that this is done in the rotation in only one out of 3 consecutive election cycles.

The 108th amendment of the Constitution was proposed in 2008 and passed by the Upper House in 2011, but was never voted upon by the Lower House, and lapsed after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 2014.

This bill, if brought into effect, will provide India a stronghold towards women empowerment, as the current global average of seats for women in the parliament is a mere 24.1 percent.

Also, the bill tends to increase employment for women in government jobs, and strengthen their position in the legislation.

This, however, is feared by their male counterparts since ages- activists say– as the passing of this bill could bring down their own level of dominance and stronghold in the Indian parliament.

This was affirmed by Bhupendra Yadav, the Centre’s member in the Rajya Sabha when he hinted in the negative when asked by reporters whether the Center would consider passing the Women’s bill.

Despite this, Gandhi’s move was seen as a strong one by women’s rights activists and the like, as the bill tends to create a new high in women empowerment and uplift their kind in the country.

It is to be mentioned here that since the start of the century, the country has seen in numerous protests, rallies, and strikes by activists, demanding more seats for women in the parliament.

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