Sonia Gandhi Writes To PM Modi Pledging Congress Support On “Woman’s Reservation Bill”
Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi has written to PM Narendra Modi urging him to push through legislation which reserves a third of seats in Parliament and state legislatures. The Women’s Reservation Bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha or Upper House in 2010 when Sonia Gandhi’s party, the Congress, led a national coalition. Since Then it has deteriorate in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another,Sonia Gandhi says in her letter, vowing that the Congress has always and will continue to support the legislation.
The PM’s party BJP and its allies have an easy majority in the Lok Sabha. Yesterday, when asked Bhupendra Yadav, the BJP’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, if the government would present new focus on the women’s bill, he replied in the unfavorable.
Sonia Gandhi has urged PM Narendra Modi to get the women’s Reservation bill passed in the Lok Sabha
Women politicians have pointed out that male MPs are against the proposal. Women hold only about 10 per cent of the seats in the two houses of Parliament combined. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), that’s half the global average of 21.4 per cent.
The proposal has the potential to become one of the most empowering laws for women in India, activists say. Gender equality in Parliament would empower women in general, they say. A stronger women’s voice at the top would have a trickle-down effect, leading to the development of policies and laws that would help women at the grassroots level fight abuse, discrimination and inequality.
Despite nearly two decades of protests, rallies, demonstrations and hunger strikes by the women’s rights movement in India for more seats in the legislature, male lawmakers have stubbornly blocked the current bill, fearing activists say -that it threatens their own political power.
Read: Sonia Gandhi’s Letter to PM Narendra Modi On Women Reservation Bill
Dear Prime Minister,
You may recall that the Rajya Sabha had passed the Women’s Reservation Bill on March 9, 2010. Since then, however, it has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another.
I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in the Lower House as well. The Congress Party has always and will continue to support this legislation which will be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women.
You may recall that it was, in fact, the Congress Party and its late leader Shri Rajiv Gandhi who first mooted the provision for reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas in the Constitution Amendment Bills which the Opposition parties thwarted in the Rajya Sabha in 1989 but later were passed by both Houses of Parliament in 1993 becoming the 73rd and 74th Amendments.
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