New Delhi, Feb 16: With a goal of developing 'engendered cities', the Centre is working on mandating 50 per cent reservation for women in all the urban local bodies to promote their participation in urban policy making.
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu highlighted the need for imparting gender perspective to designing urban policies and programmes while inaugurating a two-day International Conference on Gender and Urban Poverty.
"Our government is keen to enhance representation of women in urban local bodies by reserving 50 per cent of the seats for women through an amendment to the Constitution. We have already held one round of consultations with the states. We would like to take this to its logical conclusion," he said.
Speaking about the need for reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures, Naidu said the Centre seeks to build a consensus in this regard.
Observing that "women are more vulnerable to harshness of urban inequities and struggle more in terms of job security, pay parity, access to credit, suitability of working conditions, access to safe water, education and healthcare, housing", he stressed on the need for urban policies to be guided by women's perspectives.
"Different facets of urban poverty like income, working conditions, access to basic infrastructure, time, social status, violence, sanitation, health, education etc. affect women more adversely," he said.
The minister said, "Gender sensitivity is all about acknowledging and being responsive to the different roles of women and men in the development of human settlements and their differential needs and addressing them through policy and institutional mechanisms."