While the demand for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament still remains a contentious issue, the Congress on Saturday took a decision to increase women’s representation in all departments of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to 50 per cent. The move comes after party vice-president Rahul Gandhi took note of the gender disparity in his party, at a meeting of the newly elected office-bearers.
Presently, of the 12 AICC general secretaries, former Union Minister Ambika Soni is the only woman who has made it to the post. And among the 44 newly appointed secretaries, only five are women. Taking note of this, Rahul is said to have vowed to increase women’s representation in all departments of the AICC to 50 per cent, in the next three to four years.
Congress spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das, however, later made it clear that it was not about ‘reservation’ but about proportional ‘representation’ of women in the party that Rahul talked about.
“When Rahul observed that women’s presence was less and not to the proportion, it should be he said that it will definitely be increased to 50 per cent in the next three to four years,” he explained.
It was a bit surprising though that Rahul had to attend a meeting of the newly elected office-bearers to realise that the party has not been giving adequate representation to women.
Given the fact that the AICC is bearing a younger look, where the average age of an office-bearer is 52, Rahul’s imprint on the latest reshuffle has been widely acknowledged.