Women’s Quota Bill in Lok Sabha
The Narendra Modi government introduced the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, marking a historic step after the Special Session moved to the new Parliament House on Tuesday. The bill will reserve one-third of the seats in the Lower House and the Assemblies for women.
What is the Women’s Reservation Bill?
- The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam or Women’s Reservation Bill or The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, is a proposed legislation in India aimed at providing greater representation for women in the country’s legislative bodies, including the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of Parliament) and state legislative assemblies.
- The primary objective of this bill is to promote gender equality in politics and increase women’s participation in the decision-making process of the country. The seats were proposed to be reserved in rotation and would have been determined by draw of lots in such a way that a seat would be reserved only once in three consecutive general elections.
What are the features of the Women’s Reservation Bill?
- Reserving Seats: According to the bill, women should be given a third (33.33%) of the total seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative bodies. A considerable number of the seats will be reserved for female candidates only thanks to this reservation.
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes: Of the seats that are designated as reserved, one-third are also set aside for women from the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities. This clause makes sure that women from underrepresented and underprivileged groups are more prevalent.
- No Separate Reservation for OBC Women: Notably, the measure does not provide a distinct reservation for women who belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). In Indian politics, this has been a source of dispute and discussion.
- Rotation of Reserved Seats: The bill stipulates that following each delimitation operation, the reserved seats would be rotated. This implies that to achieve fair representation, the precise constituency set aside for women may alter from time to time.
What are the advantages of the Women’s Reservation bill?
- Gender Equality: The bill’s promotion of gender equality in politics is one of its main advantages. It addresses the historical underrepresentation of women in positions of decision-making by reserving one-third of seats for them in legislative bodies.
- Increased Women’s Participation: The legislation promotes increased female involvement in politics. It gives women the opportunity to run for office and serve as representatives at different levels of government on an even playing field.
- Diverse perspectives: With more women in politics, it is more likely that different viewpoints and experiences will be taken into account when making decisions and governing. This may result in more inclusive policies that cover a wider spectrum of societal problems
- Empowerment of Women: Women are empowered by the measure by providing them a stronger voice in determining the laws and regulations that have an impact on their lives. It may encourage more women to get involved in politics and assume leadership positions.
- Better Policy Outcomes: According to research, legislatures with more gender diversity tend to pass laws that are more sensitive to the interests and concerns of women. Women’s health, education, and economic empowerment are issues that are more likely to get attention and funding.