PM emphasised on inclusion of women in policy-making
NEW DELHI: A day after the Union Cabinet approved women's reservation, the government on Tuesday introduced a constitutional amendment bill "Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam" to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the purpose of the new women's reservation bill is to expand women's participation in the Lok Sabha and Assemblies and it will further strengthen Indian democracy. The Prime Minister urged members of both Houses of Parliament to pass the bill unanimously.
Introducing the bill, the government said that it will enable greater participation of women in policy-making at the state and national levels and help achieve the goal of making India a developed country by 2047.
The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the first bill in the new Parliament building, was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union of law and justice Arjun Ram Meghwal.
In his address, the Prime Minister informed the Lok Sabha that the Union Cabinet had decided to give a go-ahead to the women reservation bill and emphasised the need for the inclusion of more women in policy-making so that their contributions to the nation increase further.
Mr Modi urged the members to open the doors of opportunity for women on this historic day.
"Taking forward the resolution of women-led development, our government is today presenting a major constitutional amendment bill. The purpose of this bill is to expand the participation of women in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas. Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam will further strengthen our democracy," Mr Modi said, assuring that his government is committed to making this bill into law.
"I assure all the mothers, sisters and daughters of the nation that we are committed to making this bill into law. I request as well as urge all the colleagues in this House, as a pious and auspicious beginning is being made. If this bill becomes law with consensus, then its power will magnify manifold. Therefore, I request both the Houses to pass the bill with full consensus," the Prime Minister said in the Lok Sabha.
Later, speaking in the Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister mentioned that the issue of reservation for women in Parliament has been pending for decades and everyone has contributed towards it in their capacity.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the bill will finally become law and ensure Nari Shakti towards nation-building with the new energy of the new building.
Mr Modi informed the Rajya Sabha about the government’s decision to introduce the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam as a constitution amendment bill in the Lok Sabha, which will be up for debate tomorrow. The Prime Minister urged the members of the Rajya Sabha to support the bill unanimously so that its power and outreach are amplified to the fullest.
While introducing the bill in the Lok Sabha, Mr Meghwal said that the number of women members in the Lower House will rise to 181, from 82 currently, after the bill comes into force.
The bill has proposed that the reservation will continue for a period of 15 years and that there will be a quota for SC/STs within the reserved seats for women. Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise.
With several parties pushing for the reservation of women in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies and Delhi Assembly, the bill is likely to see a smooth passage this time, unlike the earlier instances when it was opposed by several regional parties.
However, its implementation may still take some time and is unlikely to be in force for the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024 as the reservation will come into effect only after a delimitation exercise is completed.
The government said that women participate substantively in panchayats and municipal bodies, but their representation in state Assemblies, Parliament is still limited.
"The true empowerment of women will require greater participation of women in the decision-making process as they bring different perspectives and enrich the quality of legislative debates and decision-making," the government said.
There have been several efforts to introduce women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha and state Legislative Assemblies since 1996. The last such attempt was made in 2010, when the Rajya Sabha had passed a bill for women's reservation, but the bill could not be passed in the Lok Sabha.