The Women Reservation Bill, also known as Nari Shakti Adhiniyam, has successfully passed in Lok Sabha (with more than a 2/3rd majority) and Rajya Sabha. After completing 75 years of independence, the nation has begun its journey into Amritkal with the goal of becoming Viksit Bharat by 2047. Realization of this goal will require the contribution of all the sections of society in the spirit of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas Sabka Prayas.
HOW IT WILL SUPPORT AADHI AABADI
- The role of women constituting half of the population is extremely important in the realization of this goal.
- The government has taken a number of steps to bring Nari Shakti to the forefront through women’s empowerment and women-led development resulting in substantial improvement in financial Independents of women and availability of equal access to education and health.
- The government also Emphasizes ‘ease of living” especially for women through various initiatives including the Ujjwala Yojana, access to toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission, financial inclusion through the Mudra Yojana etc.
- However true empowerment of women will require great participation of women in the decision-making process as they bring differently and enrich the quality of Legislative debate and decision-making.
Provision and Benefits of Women Reservation Bill
Reservation given; Now Women got reservation in 33% of Lok Sabha seats (inserted Article 330A) and state assembly seats (inserted Article 332A) for women through direct election. It will ensures greater gender representation and will addressing gender disparity in politics and society.
- For SC/STS: It provides sub-reservation for SCs, STs, and Anglo-Indians among women candidates. Intersectional representation will be promoted and Empowering marginalized women.
- For Delhi(NCT): It inserts a subsection in Article 239 AA, reserving seats for women in the legislative assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Subsection (bb) reserves one-third of SC and ST seats in the Delhi Assembly for women. It provides women in Delhi with representation at the state level and also ensures marginalized women’s participation in Delhi’s legislative assembly.
- Duration: Initially the reservation period lasts for 15 years from the commencement of the act, with the possibility of extension by Parliament. It will encourage more women to join active politics.
- Enforcement: The implementation of reservation begins after the completion of the delimitation process based on the first Census conducted after the Bill’s passage. It also ensures the correct representation of data on women and subsequent seat reservations.
- Rotation of seat: Seat rotation for several seats occurs following each subsequent demarcation.
Disadvantages of Women Reservation Bill
- The Bill turns women’s quota into a zero-sum game where women would get seats only if male MPs were removed from one-third of the constituencies.
- Rotational reservation of one-third of seats is the most serious shortcoming in the Bill. The pre-election nursing of a Lok Sabha or State Assembly constituency involves a very heavy investment on the part of the political parties and individual aspirants. It would lead to grave uncertainty for sitting male MPs eroding their meticulously developed political base and leaving them no scope to pursue politics as a life-long mission or career.
- The Bill also ignores an important recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 81st Amendment Bill about extending reservation to Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils that was incorporated in Clause 21 of its report.