Women groups demand passage of Women`s Reservation Bill

Reminding political parties of their responsibility to ensure that women`s rights outlined in Constitution are upheld, women groups gathered demanding passage of Women`s Reservation Bill.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 07, 2014, 00:01 AM IST

New Delhi: Reminding political parties of their responsibility to ensure that women`s rights as outlined in the Constitution are upheld, several women groups on Thursday gathered here demanding the passage of the pending Women`s Reservation Bill in the ongoing session of parliament.
The bill seeks to reserve 33 per cent of seats for women at all levels of legislature to ensure that their right to participate in politics is upheld.

The bill which was passed in Rajya Sabha in 2010, is still awaiting Lok Sabha`s approval.

"Women comprise nearly 50 per cent of India`s population and yet continue to be under-represented in all aspects of politics, including as elected representatives in the Parliament and Legislative Councils.

The marginalisation of women from politics is clear as today, only 10.9 per cent of the parliamentary seats are held by women and women make up less than 1 percent of ministers and 4 percent of the negotiators in major development processes," said Shabnam Hashmi founder of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy).

"All political parties need to come together and pass the bill and the members of the Lok Sabha to follow the lead of Rajya Sabha, where the bill was passed in 2010," said Annie Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women.

The coalition of women groups will discuss with various political leaders in the next two weeks, involve youth through online campaign and stage a dharna on February 12 at Jantar Mantar regarding the passage of the bill.