Google+ Consumer Psyche: Women Reservation Bill

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Women Reservation Bill

Well if something can be postponed they always do. However stale it may be Women's Reservation Bill has been pending and dragging on forever. It is known that because of the inbuilt prejudice against women, male candidates will have an unfair advantage in elections. Parties tend to allow women candidates to fight elections from their weak constituencies. To expect one-third of the male members to accept political sanyasam is unrealistic. They are no Gandhians. They will not give up their privileges so easily.

While it is clear that women are not asking for grace and charity. Their contribution to the cause of nation-building exceeds that of men. An International Labour Organization study shows that "while women represent 50 percent of the world adult population and a third of the official labor force, they perform nearly two-third of all working hours, receive a tenth of world income and own less than one percent of world property." Therefore, reservation for women is not a bounty but only an honest recognition of their contribution to social development.

The proposed legislation to reserve 33.3 percent seats in Parliament and state legislatures for women was drafted first by the H D Deve Gowda-led United Front government. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996. Though it has been introduced in Parliament several times since then, the Bill could not be passed because of lack of political consensus. These are the same MPs who unanimously pass salary hikes, allowances, etc. With definite majority on its side UPA has a tough call to ignore it this time. The opponents want the membership of the house to be increased to facilitate 33.3% more seats which would take more time and encourage multiple leaders, constituencies, bureaucracy and corruption.

It has been a long wait. All we expect now from UPA is to stop deliberating and pass the damn bill. It is not just a social necessity but a national obligation.
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