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Congress Committed to 1/3 Seats for Women in Parliament: Anand

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) Even though the Congress party remains committed to one-third representation of women in Parliament, the reality on the ground is that 'some political parties have, by default, delayed discussion on the Bill pending before Parliament, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said here today.

Addressing the 22nd Annual Session of the FICCI Ladies Organization and the National Convention on Women Empowering India, Mr Sharma said his party's intent was clear.

''The Congress Party has had the privilege of amending its constitution by which a third of the party positions are kept for women." At the national level, the Bill for reservation of women in Parliament has been awaiting discussion for over a decade. During this period, the country has moved from a single party government to a coalition government. "This arrangement has its own strengths and compulsions", he pointed out.

Welcoming the induction of women in elected bodies, the Minister said their participation as legislators would be enriching. This, he said, was demonstrated by the fact that there were over a lakh of women today in panchayats and zilla parishads and local bodies and the change was evident.

Speaking on the Role of Media and Civil Society in Changing Public attitude Towards Women, Mr Sharma said what was lacking in the portrayal of women by the media was sensitivity.

"We need to see whether women are being portrayed in a realistic manner, is there a deliberate distortion or a commercially beneficial but distasteful presentation of women and women's issues," he asked.

Responding to the concerns expressed by Ms Usha Agarwala, FLO President, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, Minister for Transport&Parliamentary Affairs of Haryana underlined the need for an attitude shift towards the projection of women by media and civil society and suggested greater portrayal by the media of lessons on gender inequality and how to conquer these.

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