International Women’s Day: Women MPs push for 33% reservation in Parliament

Several women members of Parliament on Monday spoke in Rajya Sabha on the occasion of International Women’s Day. During the discussion, MPs highlighted the issue of lack of women representation in leadership roles as they pushed for 33% reservation for women in Parliament. “Many audits have shown that not more than 6% of women have got leadership roles. We must think about it,” said National Congress Party’s Fauzia Khan. “We can make a beginning by bringing the legislation on 33 per cent reservation of women in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” Khan added.

She further said that deep-seated historic, cultural and socio-economic barriers prevent women from taking their seat at the decision-making table.Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi also spoke about the reservation legislation and suggested that the number should be raised to 50 per cent. “24 years ago, we proposed a 33% reservation for women in Parliament. Today, 24 years later, we should raise this to 50% reservation for women in Parliament and assembly,” Chaturvedi said in the Parliament.Chhattisgarh’s Chhaya Varma and MP from the Congress party underlined the issue of crime against women and said, while the government has pushed the slogan ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, the high rate of crimes against women tells a very different story.

“Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sonal Mansingh demanded the celebration of International Men’s Day if we are celebrating women’s day. “I demand that International Men’s Day should also be celebrated,” she said.The Women’s Reservation Bill is the pending bill in the Parliament that seeks amendment in the Constitution of India to reserve one-third of all seats in the Lok Sabha and in all state legislatures for women. The bill was passed in Rajya sabha in 2010 and is pending in the lower house of Parliament.As per the proposed criteria, the Lok Sabha seats will be reserved on a rotational basis. One seat will be reserved once in every three general elections, the bill also mandates.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 of every year. It is a day to celebrate women’s achievements in all areas like social, economic, cultural and political over the years. This year, the United Nations decided ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world’ as the theme for celebrations. The theme was decided amid reports that Covid-19 pandemic has widened the gap between women and men. According to a report by the UN, women are nearly twice as likely than men to lose their jobs during the Covid-19 crisis.In 2020, the World Economic Forum listed India at 122 out of 153 countries when it comes to women’s representation in parliament, in their Global Gender Gap Report.

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