Rajya Sabha takes up Women's Reservation Bill; over seven hours of discussions slated

The legislation is widely expected to get approval from the Upper House. It will then require the approval of a majority of state assemblies.

Published: 21st September 2023 12:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2023 12:20 PM   |  A+A-

The Special Session in Rajya Sabha at the new Parliament building is underway, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo | SansadTV)


NEW DELHI: A landmark bill to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, with Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal saying it is part of a series of measures the government has taken for the empowerment of women.

Introducing the 128th Constitution Amendment Bill, which was approved by a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Meghwal recounted the measures initiated by the Narendra Modi government for the empowerment of women over the last nine years.

Rajya Sabha will have a seven-and-a-half-hour window to discuss the bill. The legislation is widely expected to get approval from the Upper House. It will then require the approval of a majority of the state assemblies. It will be implemented after a delimitation exercise based on the Census data. This is the seventh attempt since 1996 to get the Women's Reservation Bill passed.

From opening zero-balance, Jan Dhan accounts in the name of women to constructing lakhs of toilets, making women owners or co-owners of dwelling units given under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and giving free cooking gas connections to women were steps to give dignity and respect to women, he said, adding that 68 per cent of the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) are women.

Meghwal said the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will be both horizontal and vertical, thereby applying to the SC-ST category as well.

The delimitation commission, he said, will decide which seats will go to women.

Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he has dispensed with the provision of giving a two-day notice before the introduction of a bill so as to allow the women's reservation bill to be tabled and discussed in the Upper House the very next day of its passage in the Lok Sabha.

Dhankhar also named several women MPs, including P T Usha, Jaya Bachchan (SP), Fauzia Khan (NCP), Dola Sen (TMC) and Kanimozhi NVN Somu (DMK), as vice-chairpersons who would take turns to conduct the House proceedings during the discussion on the bill.

Women presently make up nearly half of India's 95 crore registered voters but comprise only 15 per cent of lawmakers in Parliament and 10 per cent in the state assemblies. The 33 per cent reservation for women will not apply to the Upper House of Parliament and state legislatures.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp