2023 Women’s Reservation Bill: A Historic Step Towards Gender Equality in India

Lok Sabha Pass the Women’s Reservation Bill

The Lok Sabha is set to embark on an important legislative journey as it convenes to consider and pass the Women’s Reservation Bill, which aims to bring about a significant change in India’s political landscape. This historic legislation seeks to provide one-third reservation to women in both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, a landmark move towards gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.

The One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment Bill, 2023, which proposes these crucial amendments to the Constitution of India, will be presented by Law and Justice Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal in the House. The bill, introduced on the first day of proceedings in the new Parliament Building, will be officially known as the “Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.”

Women's Reservation Bill

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the Lok Sabha, highlighted the significance of this day, stating, “This historic day of 19th September 2023 is going to be immortal in the history of India.” Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, who tabled the bill, emphasized the government’s commitment to women’s empowerment through this legislation.

Once the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is passed, it will result in an increase in the number of seats reserved for women in the Lok Sabha to 181, a substantial step towards ensuring equal representation.

The old Parliament building will undergo a transformation and be renamed as ‘Samvidhan Sadan,’ as announced by Prime Minister Modi. This renaming symbolizes a new era in Indian politics and governance.

During the parliamentary discussions, All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar highlighted West Bengal as the only state with a female chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, and praised the recognition of women’s rightful entitlements in the state.

Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal expressed the government’s openness to consider suggestions put forth during the discussion on the Women’s Reservation Bill. This constitutional amendment bill, known as ‘Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam,‘ marks the first bill introduced in the new Parliament building, underscoring its historical significance.

The legislation proposes a 33 percent reservation for women in both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. However, it’s important to note that this reservation will only take effect once the delimitation exercise has been completed.

The newly introduced articles and clauses in the Constitution outline the provisions for the reservation of seats for women in various legislative bodies, including the Delhi legislative assembly, Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and state Legislative Councils. These provisions emphasize the importance of gender equality in India’s political landscape.

As both Houses of Parliament begin their proceedings for day two of the special session, the Women’s Reservation Bill remains a topic of significant debate and discussion.

Some opposition parties have raised concerns about the timing of the bill’s introduction. Parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) have expressed reservations, particularly regarding the representation of women from marginalized communities.

The Women’s Reservation Bill is a monumental step towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in India’s political sphere. While there are differing opinions and concerns, the bill’s introduction represents a significant milestone in the nation’s journey towards inclusive governance.

The coming days of the special session are expected to witness further deliberations, discussions, and possibly amendments to address the various perspectives and concerns related to the bill’s implementation.

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