New Delhi, September 19, 2017: A delegation of five members, representing various women's organisations, met Hon'ble President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at the Rashtrapathi Bhawan for the speedy passage of the women's reservation bill. The delegation updated President Kovind on the present status of women in governance in India and sought his support for gender equality in politics and the immediate passage of the bill. The President extended his full support for the passage of the bill.
The delegation was led by Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director Centre for Social Research. The other important delegation members included Sara Pilot, Chairperson, CEQUIN, Ranu Bhogal, Director (Policy, Research and Campaign), Oxfam, India, Vinodhini Moses, National General Secretary, YWCA of India and Gayatri Sharma, Director, Women Power Connect.
"We have got a very good response at the highest level of governance and sincerely hope that we will get the bill passed this year. Women's groups will leave no stone unturned, and step up their campaign in the coming months," says Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Researh.
Even after 70 years of Independence, crime against women is rampant and gender equality is completely lacking in every sphere of society. The status of women is best reflected in the political sphere, where women hold mere 12 percent seats in Parliament and an average of 9 percent in State Assemblies in India.
Women's groups believe that unless there are more women in politics, their concerns cannot be addressed consistently and effectively.The National Alliance for WRBroutinely demands action for women's political empowerment. According to the Alliance, women's participation in politics is a human right and the cornerstone of women's equal citizenship. It is also essential for achieving genuine and effective democratic governance.
The Women's Reservation Bill was developed in order to facilitate women's political participation by reserving 33 percent of all seats for women in the LokSabha and state legislative assemblies. The Bill is vital for realising women's rights under the Constitution of India and for addressing the widespread gender inequality throughout the country.The Women's Reservation Bill, which is currently a live bill that has been passed by the RajyaSabha can be taken by the present government with a 2/3rd majority. The point of this bill is to give women a ground to fight elections where women will fight women only, so that the winner will also be a woman.