Women groups demand tabling of Quota bill in Budget session

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) Demanding tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill in the remaining phase of the Budget Session, women's activists, parliamentarians and NGO representatives today pledged to vote out parties which are opposing it.

They said a mass campaign will be launched against those parties which are creating hurdles in the passage of the bill.

Participating in a consultative meeting 'Women's Reservation Bill- The Way Forward: call For Action, organised by WomenPower Connect, the group said nothing less than 33 per cent reservation will be acceptable to them.

''Although similar reservations have been introduced in the Panchayati Raj institutions with great success, there appears to be much reluctance amongst certain sections of State and Central legislatures to adopt such legislation,'' said WPC president Ranjana Kumari.

She said 33 per cent reservation of seats in bodies of local governance has resulted in women becoming active and valuable participants in grassroot level decision-making structures.

''If such a strategy is employed across all levels, higher level decisions would also benefit from the dynamic involvement and leadership of women,'' she added.

Other participants in the meeting included Lok Sabha member Sangeeta Singh Dev, All India Women Conference President Gomti Nayar and BJP Mahila Morcha President Kiran Maheshwari.

Pointing out that women comprised only 8 per cent of Parliament members despite them constituting 50 per cent of the Indian population, Dr Ranjana Kumari said this is an extremely shocking incongruity with the entire notion of democracy.

''This is despite Constitution of India guaranteeing gender equality and India being a signatory to the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,'' she added.

UNI NR AKJ BST2000

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