Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
Outlook.com
Cover Story: Women’s Bill

Now, The Better Third

How exactly will the Women’s Reservation Bill empower our women and affect our legislative complexion?

Now, The Better Third
PTI
Now, The Better Third
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Highlights

  • The Constitution (108th amendment) Bill, 2008, reserves one-third of Lok Sabha and state assembly seats for women
  • One-third of SC/ST seats to be reserved for women of those groups
  • Reservation for women shall cease 15 years after the act is in place
  • Reserved seats may be allotted by Parliament on rotation to different constituencies
  • Each Lok Sabha and assembly seat will be reserved for women once in a block of three elections. Amethi, therefore, cannot have Rahul Gandhi as its MP for three consecutive terms.
  • One of the two LS seats for Anglo-Indians will be reserved for a woman of that community for the first two terms in a block of three elections.

***

In the violent and rancorous opposition to the Women’s Reservation Bill lies the answer to the question on how women will change politics. For, this resistance springs not merely from the fact that many male legislators will lose their seats in Parliament and the state assemblies, nor from the fact that the rotation of seats every five years will ensure that MPs may no longer ‘nurture’ their constituencies. The real battle is for political power: for, if the Constitution (108th) Amendment Bill does become law and at least 181 women sit in the Lok Sabha and corresponding numbers in state assemblies across the country, it will result in a fundamental change in the power dynamics in an arena where it matters the most—decision-making in the highest echelons of the country.

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