Women Reservation is long awaited bill yet to be passed by our parliament to reserve seats in elections. Every party wants this and showing support but this bill still pending to be passed. There is big political conspiracy against and 49% women population.
The letter written by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to the Prime Minister, asking him to pass the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill, is a clever political move, but not really a move to materialize reservation for women in legislatures. The intent is to put the Congress party’s legitimate claim as the initiator of the quota Bill upfront, and deny the government full credit for such a move, if it is, indeed, inclined to pass the Bill.
The fact is that while Sonia Gandhi is among those who want the Bill passed, it is not a key objective for most who give it lip support. This is for the practical reason that the way quota for women has been incorporated in the Bill rules out long-term nurturing of a constituency by any one MP, because the seat reserved for women would rotate among constituencies. The lack of enthusiasm for the Bill cuts across parties.
The most sensible way to raise women’s representation in elected legislatures is for political parties to put up more women candidates in seats they are confident of winning. After the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution initiated by Rajiv Gandhi that mandated elections to rural and urban local bodies, complete with reservation of at least a third of the seats for women, a large group has emerged of women with experience of holding and running political office.
This is so, even after discounting a great many women members of Panchayats who have held office as proxies for their male relations. So, there is no scarcity of potential women leaders for parties to choose from. What holds them back is age-old patriarchy.
Things have progressed from the time when parties claiming to champion subaltern groups dismissed women’s quota as a ploy to bring in more elite women. The Bill could well pass, if the government tried.