Sapna Magazine Archives

The Archives 2004-2020

New Bill Empowers Women Politicians in India

March 9, 2010: The votes were rocked in India. It took 186 out of 245-seat members of India’s parliament to vote in favor of approving a bill that would “reserve a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women”. With only one member who actually voted against the bill and other “smaller” parties that chose to “boycott” the vote, the passing of the bill was not handled without opposition, which actually resulted in the suspension of seven MPs that day. The uproar was said to be “one of the most shameful moments in India’s parliamentary democracy”, according to Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Arun Jaitley, but regardless it was a moment that “women have been waiting for 62 years”, Jayanthi Natarajan, from the Congress party exclaimed.

After having the support of the main parties in India, such as the BJP-led NDA, Congress-led UPA alliance, and the left-wing parties,  the bill received the votes that were necessary from the upper house of the parliament, Rajya Sabha, with the two-thirds majority, but will be up for voting in the lower house, Lok Sabha, at a later date. Currently, the Lok Sabha is made up of 59 women among the 545 members but with the newly instilled bill, this number would be 181 women members.

Even though the bill was not passed on International Women’s Day, as originally planned, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh noted that “The bill is a historic and giant step towards empowering women and a celebration of their rights…Women are facing discrimination at home, there is domestic violence, unequal access to health and education. This has to end”.

Breaking through barriers every day, Communist leader Brinda Karat said this bill will help reform the “culture of the country because women today are still caught in a culture prison…In the name of tradition, stereotypes are imposed and we have to fight these every day,” which women are taking steps to overcome to change the lives and views of millions of women. —MUNIA ISLAM

Photo credit: BBC News/ AP.

One thought on “New Bill Empowers Women Politicians in India

  1. I watched some articles from your blog, also have bookmarked your feed during the last hours and I noticed a constant improvement of style.
    Wonderfull job.

Comments are closed.