Women Reservation Essay

Women Reservation Essay-76
The first argu­ment is that the political parties are talking in favour of the Women’s Bill only to appease and entice their voters.Their non-seriousness in women’s empowerment is indicated by the fact that within their own organisations they have not introduced the quota system, except the Congress Party which introduced 33 per cent women’s reservation in the party only in December 1998.There are cases of women MPs who have never spoken in their term of five years or spoken only once or twice in five years.

The first argu­ment is that the political parties are talking in favour of the Women’s Bill only to appease and entice their voters.Their non-seriousness in women’s empowerment is indicated by the fact that within their own organisations they have not introduced the quota system, except the Congress Party which introduced 33 per cent women’s reservation in the party only in December 1998.There are cases of women MPs who have never spoken in their term of five years or spoken only once or twice in five years.

This means that if there are 100 seats in a local body, of which 23 seats are reserved for the SCs/STs, then 7 or 8 of these (23) seats would be reserved for SC/ST women.

The 33 seats reserved for women would be adjusted to include the 7 SC/ST women seats so that the general category of women reserved seats would come down from 33 to 26. P) have reserved seats for OBC women at the panchayat level.

The demand for representation for Muslims will further contribute to discrimination on religious basis.

Will all these discriminations (gender, caste and religion) protect the secular fabric of the country?

About two years ago, a leading national daily published an urban opinion poll which showed wide support for the women’s reservation bill.

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But then a num­ber of articles were published against the Bill in a 10:1 ratio.The question to be discussed today, therefore, is: Is reservation policy or protective discrimination for women a logical and a useful strategy for ensuring justice and equal opportunity to women?The argument in favour of the Bill is that Women’s representation in politics will be a first step towards women empowerment.Surprisingly, these leaders and political parties have never demanded OBC reservation for men in the Lok Sabha, knowing well that if they did, the number of OBC men in the Lok Sabha will sharply decline, which will lead to their disempowerment.Thus, what the members who want an amendment to the women’s Bill favour in not only gender discrimination but also caste discrimina­tion.The sixth argument is that our experience in the last five decades has shown that the reservation policy has not delivered the desired results.The candidates selected against reserved seats have not been able to adequately articulate the grievances and needs of the people of their constituencies.This means that out of 33 seats for women, 7 will be for SCs/STs, 9 will be for OBC and 17 will be for general women. Gujral’s regime), the Bill was submitted to Gita Mukherjee Committee which in its report, submitted in Novem­ber 1996, recommended one-third reservation for women.Before the Bill on 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha was introduced in December 1998; it had been prevented from being introduced on three different occasions: once, during Prime Minis­ter Deve Gowda’s time (1996), again during Prime Minister Gujral’s time (1997), and once again, during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time (1998). The Women’s Bill pending in the parliament (84th amendment to Constitution) at the time of Vajpayee’s losing Vote of Confidence provided for: (a) 33 per cent seats for v/omen in legislatures; (b) It did not suggest reservation on caste basis (i.e., it did not permit reservation for SC/ST/OBC women; and (c) It suggested rotational system.The Communist Party has 12 women in its 150-member National Council, and three members in its 21-member National Executive.In September 1999 general elections for the Lok Sabha, no political party has given tickets to women in more them 10 per cent cases.

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