Women Reservation Essay

Women Reservation Essay-7
Even the BJP (which succeeded in introducing the Bill in the Parliament in December 1998) had allotted only 23 out of 477 seats it had contested in 1995 general elections to women, out of which 13 women were elected.In the BJP Working Committee, out of 75 members there are only eight women.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.

Even the BJP (which succeeded in introducing the Bill in the Parliament in December 1998) had allotted only 23 out of 477 seats it had contested in 1995 general elections to women, out of which 13 women were elected.In the BJP Working Committee, out of 75 members there are only eight women.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.

If a large number of such women enter parliament, what will be the ‘nature’ and quality of debates?In its 650-member National Council, there are only 150 women.The Congress Party has only three women in its 20- member Working Committee.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.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.In some parties the percentage of women candidates is not even 2 to 3.The second argument is that reservation cannot achieve much. At best, reservation is ‘palliative’ and no de­cisive transformation can take place unless such a measure is accompanied by structural changes in the nation’s productive relations. Women’s reservation will further divide the population artifi­cially.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.

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