Politics

Sonia seeks passage of Women's Reservation Bill

8 Mar 2016 | By Gaurav

Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought an early passage to the Women's Reservation Bill that seeks to reserve a third of legislative seats in India for women.

The Congress president was speaking in the Lok Sabha as the world celebrated the International Women's Day.

The women's reservation bill was first introduced by the Deve Gowda government on 12 September, 1996.

In context: The Women's Reservation Bill

Vehement opposition to the bill by RJD

The NDA government re-introduced the bill in the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998. When Law minister M. Thambidurai rose to introduce the bill on 13 July, 1998, RJD MP Surendra Prasad Yadav snatched it from Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi and tore it to bits.

The BillWhat is the Women's reservation bill?

The current version of the Women's Reservation Bill, the 108th Amendment (2010), seeks to reserve 33% of all seats in governing bodies at the Center, State and Local level.

For reservation in the Lok Sabha, one-third of all constituencies will be reserved for women on a rotation basis for one in every three general elections.

The bill has helped improve women's representation in panchayats.

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What is the opposition to the bill?

Opposition What is the opposition to the bill?

Many opponents to the bill say there should be reservations for lower caste and minority women within the 33% quota, or else upper caste women would dominate the seats.

Opponents also suspected that nepotism would ensure that only daughters and wives of politicians would get elected instead of individuals of merit.

Opponents have also proposed making 33% reservation for women mandatory in political parties.

8 Mar 2016Sonia seeks passage of Women's Reservation Bill

'Maximum governance' should include women: Sonia

"Surely, maximum governance does not mean to have double standards in dealing with women’s rights. Surely, maximum governance also means to give us women our legitimate due -- the long awaited women’s reservation bill.” Sonia Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha.

8 Mar 2016Govt working for consensus on Women's Reservation Bill

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government is working towards evolving consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill at the earliest.

He added that the Modi government, meanwhile, had initiated a number of schemes for empowerment of women, including 'beti bachao, beti padhao'.

He criticized the Congress led UPA government for not having evolved any consensus on the bill for over 10 years.

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9 Mar 2016Congress questions Modi's stance on Women's bill

Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify his stance on the Women's Reservation Bill, and questioned his silence on the matter.

AICC spokesperson Sushmita Dev said the PM's silence on the quota bill which had "bipartisan support" was surprising since the government had issued ordinances on issues which had opposition from all sides.

She sought "concrete assurances" from the PM over the bill.