Delhi has been taken over by a new campaign to seek 50% representation for women in the Indian parliament led by Ranjana Kumar of Centre for Social Research. Since politics in a democratic nation affects everything, an equal representation of women in it becomes a must. Kumari held a protest march at Jantar Mantar, Delhi along with about seventy other women who have joined her in her initiative. Her big ask – that the government must pass the Women Reservation Bill in the parliament.
The Bill initially asked for one-third participation of women in the Lok Sabha. Initiated by the Deve Gowda government in 1996 , it was passed by the Rajya Sabha government in 2010 for 33% representation of women but failed to gather support in the Lok Sabha. Interestingly, the manifesto of the current BJP government asked for an equal 50% representation of women in the bill.
As a lot of people gathered on the roads, they were able to block the roads following which they marched towards the police station, even as police presence surrounding the gathering maintained the security and peace at the protest. Kumari tells Shethepeople.tv that there are women constables as well guarding the area and they have been very nice to the protestors.
Even as the issue of reservation for women has become background noise to an extent with the current administration, Kumari has opened the discussion again with the protest today, and about women in governance she said, “Whatever happens in politics affects one personally so if women are not there in governance India’s growth hampers. India’s development depends on all the indicators which affect women’s lives. Also the major decisions taken in politics are taken by men which also affects common women’s well being like their education, health, their representation in corporate etc.”
Kumari believes that “women are absolutely ready to take charge in the higher echelons of parliament. When the bill was passed to have women’s representation at the local body level around 15 years back, if we see the change now, there truly are women at the panchayat and mayor level. If given opportunity there will be many more women at the parliamentary level as well. Women are ready across the country so that isn’t a problem.”
We agree that the women are ready to represent their cause in parliament. The question is, are the male members of parliament?
Feature Image Credit: YouTube