Women's Reservation Bill Approved in Key Cabinet Meeting
Photo : PTI
The Women’s Reservation Bill has been approved by the Cabinet today - September 18, 2023, and is expected to be tabled in Parliament on the second day of special session. The Bill seeks to reserve one-third seats for women in the Lok Sabha
and state legislative assemblies.
Speaking to Times Now, top sources from the government have confirmed that the Women's Reservation Bill has been approved. This decision was taken by the cabinet in the meeting which took place in the evening.
A push to discuss the Women’s Reservation Bill in the special session of Parliament
was made at the all-party meeting. After the Cabinet approved the bill, the Congress stepped in to take claim. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, in a tweet, said, "It’s been a long-standing demand of the Congress party to implement women’s reservation."
We welcome the reported decision of the Union Cabinet and await the details of the Bill. This could have very well been discussed in the all-party meeting before the Special Session, and consensus could have been built instead of operating under a veil of secrecy," Ramesh further added
Jairam Ramesh's tweet:
Ramesh in another tweet stated that the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi first introduced Constitution Amendment Bills for one-third reservation in panchayats and nagarpalikas in May 1989. It passed in Lok Sabha but failed in Rajya Sabha in September 1989.
"PV Narasimha Rao reintroduced Constitution Amendment Bills for one-third reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas in April 1993. Both Bills passed and became law," the Congress MP stated.
Tweet by The Congress MP:
The women's reservation bill is pending for nearly 27 years. Notably, the last concrete development on the women's reservation matter was in 2010 when Rajya Sabha passed the bill. However, the bill was lapsed as it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha
Women MPs reportedly account for less than 15 per cent strength in the Lower House and below 10 per cent in many state assemblies. At present, the Lok Sabha has 78 women members.. In Rajya Sabha also there are around 14 per cent women MPs.
About the Bill:
One third of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women from those groups, according to the Bill. The reserved seats may be rotational.
According to the Bill, the reservation of seats for women shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of the Amendment Act.
Those who support the Bill say affirmative action is necessary to improve the condition of women.
A report examining the 1996 Women's Reservation Bill recommended that reservation be provided for women of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) once the Constitution was amended to allow for the reservation for OBCs.
The report also recommended hat reservation be extended to the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils. Neither of these recommendations has been incorporated in the Bill.