Women Reservation Essay

The sixth argument is that our experience in the last five decades has shown that the reservation policy has not delivered the desired results.The candidates selected against reserved seats have not been able to adequately articulate the grievances and needs of the people of their constituencies.The demand for representation for Muslims will further contribute to discrimination on religious basis.

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The first argu­ment is that the political parties are talking in favour of the Women’s Bill only to appease and entice their voters.

Their non-seriousness in women’s empowerment is indicated by the fact that within their own organisations they have not introduced the quota system, except the Congress Party which introduced 33 per cent women’s reservation in the party only in December 1998.

The last argument is that reservations will generate conflicts and ten­sions.

The main demand of some leaders and political parties opposing the Women’s Bill is to include a built-in quota for the OBCs and minorities within the women’s quota, i.e., they want caste-based reservation along with gender-based reservation.

There are cases of women MPs who have never spoken in their term of five years or spoken only once or twice in five years.

If a large number of such women enter parliament, what will be the ‘nature’ and quality of debates?Even in panchayats, a large number of cases of women sarpanchas have been reported where decisions are taken by their hus­bands and other male members of their families. The fifth argument is that just as because of the reservation policy, the SC, ST and OBC officers on higher administrative posts are working on the basis of caste and creed, women in parliament too will take interest in women’s problems only.We want legislators who actively participate in national and international issues which require vast knowledge and high education.At the panchayat level, one-third seats were reserved for women by making an amendment (73rd) in the Constitution.Later on, a separate clause was added reserving one- third of seats for the SC and ST women within the SC and ST quotas.Reservation for the backward castes and tribes were accepted under social conditions for a period of ten years only, and since then they have been continued for vested interest of catching political votes.The fourth argument is that it will affect the efficiency and working of the parliament, as even now all women members in parliament are not active.In some parties the percentage of women candidates is not even 2 to 3.The second argument is that reservation cannot achieve much. At best, reservation is ‘palliative’ and no de­cisive transformation can take place unless such a measure is accompanied by structural changes in the nation’s productive relations. Women’s reservation will further divide the population artifi­cially.This means that if there are 100 seats in a local body, of which 23 seats are reserved for the SCs/STs, then 7 or 8 of these (23) seats would be reserved for SC/ST women.The 33 seats reserved for women would be adjusted to include the 7 SC/ST women seats so that the general category of women reserved seats would come down from 33 to 26. P) have reserved seats for OBC women at the panchayat level.


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