• LAWGIC STRATUM

WOMEN RESERVATION BILL

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

Author: Sundara Bharathi A





STATUS OF THE BILL: PENDING


In India, the role of women is limited to a certain level in the area of politics. It is because entering into politics and sustaining in the world of politics is never an easy thing for women. She has to face several hurdles and hardships to get a particular position in a political party. It is not the status of India but all over the world. The political representation of women is very important in a country like India. That’s why India introduced 33 percentage of the reservation to the women in Parliament. But the bill is still pending in the Lok Sabha for ages, and no steps taken regarding the passing of the Women Reservation Bill.


HISTORY AND TIMELINE:


In 1996, H.D Deva Gowda first introduced this bill in the Lok Sabha. A lot of parliament drama happened while introducing this bill.Then again introduced in parliament several times in 1998 and 1999 but never get voted. The Vajpayee Government tried to push this during BJP tenure but it wasn’t passed. In 2003 the bill was introduced twice by BJP but they couldn’t pass. Congress included this bill in its Common Minimum Program and promised to introduce the bill in Lok Sabha. BJP gave full support to the bill in 2005.


On May 6, 2008, after a lot of incursion in the parliament, the women's reservation bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha by the UPA Government. Though several party members in parliament tried to snatch the bill from the hands of the minister, it was passed successfully. In 2010 February the bill was cleared by the union cabinet. But the women's reservation bill hasn’t passed till now. This bill was never introduced in the Lok Sabha because of the criticism and opposition.[1]


HIGHLIGHTS OF WOMEN RESERVATION BILL 2008 (108th Amendment of the Constitution):


Women's reservation bill gives reservation to one-third of all seats for women in Lok Sabha. It also reserves one-third of seats for women in schedule cast and schedule tribe. Thereservation process will happen on a rotation basis and seats will only reserve once in every three consecutive general elections.One of the seats from Anglo Indians in parliament was reserved for women for once in three consecutive elections.This reservation shall cease after fifteen years after the inception of the bill.


NEED FOR POLITICAL REPRESENTATION FOR WOMEN:


Women’s right to full development in politics and their self-determination will improve only through their representation in the parliament. The survey from around the world explains a fixed quota system for women in politics rather than a voluntary quota system. The report published by the United Nations in 2017 the rank of India is 148th position in the “Women in Parliament” category and 88th position in women in “ministerial position”[2]. This shows the poor performances of India in women in politics. Currently, the Indian parliament has 11.8 % women representation, 9% in state assemblies. This status is the wake-up call for India to introduce the Women's reservation bill in Lok Sabha. To smash the patriarchy in the institutions of the Government, we need the voice of women in politics. In 1992 the 74th and 75th amendment of the constitution introduced local self-governance which reserves one-third of seats for women in panchayat and municipality on a rotational basis. This system was very effective for women in rural areas who come inside politics. At present state have 50 to 58 percentage of reservation for women in the local panchayat.The parliament standing committee report for this bill concludes, “women need political participation is needed to make the democratic process inclusive”. According to a survey conducted in Tamil Nadu women in politics shows more growth in their constituencies than men.[3]


There are a lot of stereotypes and misrepresentations revolving around women in politics which struggles them to enter into politics. This fixed reservation quota will help them to show their performances without any ground-level hardships. Countries like France, Nepal, and Korea have a 50 % quota it's high time India should take a step to initiate the bill.[4]


PROXY POLITICS:


While battling for women reservations we have to address another problem which is very common among the rural area. In some places, if a seat is reserved for women means that seat will be contested by women but all the work, power, and money will be handled by her husband. If a man couldn’t contest from the seat then he introduces either her wife or daughter to the post and makes her win. But all the things will be decided by the men who is a husband or father of a women representation. This leads to confusion in society. It is a bad example for women who try to hold their place in politics. However, these issues must be taken seriously and women should not leave her rights in politics. The political representation of women will come into criticism because of the practices like proxy politics.


CONCLUSION:


The women's reservation bill is one of the longest pending bills in the history of Indian politics. It never passed in Lok Sabha. Though sometimes politicians raise their voice for this bill soon it will vanish after the election. The systematic inclusiveness of society will only possible through the representation of women in politics.


REFERENCES:

[1] Women Reservation Bill: the story so far. The Hindu (September 6 2016 ) https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/womens-reservation-bill-the-story-so-far/article6969294.ece [2]Women’s Reservation Bill, DRISHTI ( April 18 2019) https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-editorials/women-s-reservation-bill [3] Ibid at 2 [4] Greekita Dang, Women’sReservationbillwhatcanIndialearnfromothercountries. BROOKINGS( October 18 2019) https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2019/10/18/womens-reservation-bill-what-can-india-learn-from-other-countries/

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