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Reservation Quota for Women in Parliament finds support at Kumaon Literature Festival

Speaking at a packed session of the festival's second edition here, women speakers flayed the stalling of the bill that grants 33 percent reservation to women in parliament

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Rural women, Wikimedia

October 13, 2016: Support for reservation quota for women in parliament found its resonance on Thursday among participants at the ongoing Kumaon Literature Festival as well.

Speaking at a packed session of the festival’s second edition here, women speakers flayed the stalling of the bill that grants 33 percent reservation to women in parliament.

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“Issues regarding Women’s Reservation Bill need to be discussed across all parties, especially those opposing it so that it gets passed in the Lok Sabha,” said Nupur Sharma, a young leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“It should be the responsibility of each political party to allocate one-third of their tickets to women candidates,” Sharma said.

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“Merely increasing the numbers alone will not do any good; there is a desperate need for good quality women leaders in the country,” added author-columnist Tuhin Sinha.

She said there have been good women leaders at the regional and national levels, but the phenomenon has not trickle down much.

“Women’s journey into politics should be by default and not designed, because when you reserve a particular number of seats by rotation, it will encourage more nepotism, and produce leaders without quality and may also give rise to dynasty rule,” Tuhin said.

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TV commentator Abhay Kumar Dubey said the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill will prove to be a game changer for women, society and the nation.

“It is high time men stop sitting on a high pedestal and explain how and what women should do in politics,” said Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi.

“The entire society is responsible for handling women’s isues; it is not women politicians’ responsibility alone to bring about a change in the mindset of people regarding their issues and their route to politics,” Chaturvedi said.

Another session on ‘In Crisis We Act’ saw the participation of All India Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi.

A session on ‘My Lords, I Rest My Case’ witnessed participation of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Supreme Court Justice A.K. Sikri, with the latter discussing how judiciary influences literature and how writing of judgments is drawn from the literary world.

In the session on ‘A Compulsive Questionnaire,” Carnatic musician-cum-author T.M. Krishna spoke.

“Artistes are now bent upon performing in such a manner that it satisfies everybody in the audience; this is merely marketing of art and not sharing, which is the original intention of art,” he said. (IANS)

(Rachel V.Thomas is in Jim Corbett at the invitation of the Kumaon Literature Festival organisers. She can be contacted at rachel.t@ians.in)

 

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Women Representation in Lok Sabha as Low as 12 Percent

None of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House.

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Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha. Pixabay

Slogans of various political parties about empowering Indian women in politics seem to have remained just lip service, if one goes by the statistics.

The case in point is that in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, there were only 66 women members out of the total House strength of 543, which makes it just 12 per cent.

This is the situation 67 years after the first general elections.

Had the long-pending legislative proposal to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha been passed, it could have ensured at least 179 female members in the Lower House of Parliament.

In the first Lok Sabha formed in 1952, there were 24 women. The number did not change in the second Lok Sabha formed in 1957.

The number increased when the third Lok Sabha (1962-67) was formed with 37 women, according to data available on the Lok Sabha website.

There was a decrease in the numbers in the fourth, fifth and sixth Lok Sabha where 33, 28 and 21 women were elected respectively.

The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected.

When the Lok Saha was elected in 1989 for the ninth time, the number of women dropped to 28.

Since then, there has been a minor but constant increase in the number of females.

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The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected. 
Pixabay

The 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96) had 42 female members and the 11th was one less.

The 12th had 44 female MPs, while the 13th and 14th saw equal numbers at 52 females of the total 543 members.

The 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) saw a major increase: it touched 64 females — about 12 per cent of the total House strength.

The 16th – the outgoing – Lok Sabha had 66 female MPs, two more than the previous term.

Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha.

Congress’ Meira Kumar was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2009 and served till 2014. Then, Sumitra Mahajan of BJP became the second female to preside over the 16th Lok Sabha.

Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. – wikimedia commons

The political parties have been promising 33 per cent reservation to females in legislatures a number of times.

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The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. The BJP too made the promise in 2014 and now. The Communist Party of India-Marxist also promised the reservation in its manifestos in 1999, 2009 and 2019.

But none of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House. (IANS)