On the occasion of International Women’s Day,Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday sought an early passage of the “long awaited” Women’s Reservation Bill that guarantees 33 per cent quota for women in Parliament and state assemblies.
Sonia Gandhi said that the concept of “maximum governance” — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s catchphrase — would mean giving “women their rights“.
The long awaited Women’s Reservation Bill requires the government’s attention,” ,the Congress president was speaking in the Lok Sabha as the world celebrated the International Women’s Day. The government has pledged to celebrate the day by letting only women parliamentarians speak in parliament.
Referring to Indira Gandhi , Sonia said “The Congress is proud to have given the first and only woman Prime Minister” .
A constitutional amendment bill to provide one-third reservation to women in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha was passed by the Rajya Sabha in March 2010 amid protests by some regional parties .
Therefore, she said, parliament should pass the Women Reservation bill at the “earliest”.
The controversial women’s reservation bill was first introduced by the Deve Gowda government on September 12, 1996. However, since then its journey has been blocked in parliament even as the historic piece of legislation cleared the first hurdle in 2010 when it was approved by the Rajya Sabha during the Congress-led NDA’s regime.
In Rajya Sabha,Women lawmakers used the occasion to urge the early passage of the women’s reservation bill that envisages 33% reservation for the fairer sex in state assemblies and Lok Sabha.Women MPs also said that instead of celebrating International women’s day,Government should take steps to eliminate female foeticide and domestic violence.Minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla demanded an end to violence against women and discrimination faced by women in their own homes.
Heptullah began by demanding an end to discrimination faced by women in their own homes. She called for passing a resolution that the MPs will work for creating a women-friendly society.
Congress’ Ambika Soni said when the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha during the UPA government’s tenure in 2010, there was hope that it would be passed in Lok Sabha as well but lapsed with the 15th Lok Sabha expiring its term.
Soni said the bill has become a “touch-me-not” as there has been “no discussion, no amendment and no passing” of the crucial bill.