Govt moots 50% quota for women in panchayats
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 22:31
  
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursady approved a proposal to increase reservation for women to 50 percent in panchayats.

The proposal, listed for consideration at the Cabinet meeting today, was approved, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters.

The proposal aims at amending Article 243(d) of the Constitution, which provides for one-third reservation for women in panchayats, and increase the quota to 50 percent.

President Pratibha Patil, in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament on June 4, had said a Constitutional amendment would be brought in to provide 50 percent quota for women in panchayats and urban local bodies.

She had said since women suffer multiple deprivations of class, caste and gender, enhancing reservation in panchayats and urban local bodies would lead to more women entering the public sphere.

BJP-led NDA ruled states like Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh took the lead and had already implemented 50 percent reservation for women in panchayati raj institutions.

While Rajasthan has announced implementation of the proposal in the next panchayat election in 2010, Kerala has declared that it would implement it.

Reservation historic: Joshi

Terming as "historic" the Cabinet's decision to enhance reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Union Minister for Rural Development C P Joshi today said the government fulfilled it's promise and will further stand by it.

"Government of India has taken a historical decision today by approving the proposal to increase reservation for women to 50 per cent in Panchayati Raj Institutions...We fulfilled our promise. We will stand by it," Joshi told reporters here.

Union Cabinet passed the proposal for moving a Constitutional Bill for enhancing reservation for women in PRIs "at all tiers" from one third to 50 per cent, he said.

"This will be applicable to the total number of seats including offices of chairpersons and offices of chairpersons reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, filled by direct elections in Panchayats," he added.

Joshi said the reservation for women in these institutions will empower women entering the public sphere and will also make Panchayats more "inclusive institutions".

Bureau Report


First Published: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 22:31


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