Women Reservation Essay

The first argu­ment is that the political parties are talking in favour of the Women’s Bill only to appease and entice their voters.

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The demand for representation for Muslims will further contribute to discrimination on religious basis.

Will all these discriminations (gender, caste and religion) protect the secular fabric of the country?

The sixth argument is that our experience in the last five decades has shown that the reservation policy has not delivered the desired results.

The candidates selected against reserved seats have not been able to adequately articulate the grievances and needs of the people of their constituencies.

These articles had started appearing after one OBC member of the parliament (president of a political party) had given a ‘parkatti’ (the bobbed-hair brigade) state­ment in the Lok Sabha against the members of women’s organisations in a contemptuous way.

Several arguments are given against the Women’s Bill. The demands for special concessions and privileges to women are matters of right and not of charity or philanthropy.When reservation for women in panchayats was announced, some people supported it but some others said that it would generate a spirit of denigration.Even the BJP (which succeeded in introducing the Bill in the Parliament in December 1998) had allotted only 23 out of 477 seats it had contested in 1995 general elections to women, out of which 13 women were elected.In the BJP Working Committee, out of 75 members there are only eight women.At the panchayat level, one-third seats were reserved for women by making an amendment (73rd) in the Constitution.Later on, a separate clause was added reserving one- third of seats for the SC and ST women within the SC and ST quotas.About two years ago, a leading national daily published an urban opinion poll which showed wide support for the women’s reservation bill.But then a num­ber of articles were published against the Bill in a 10:1 ratio.In some parties the percentage of women candidates is not even 2 to 3.The second argument is that reservation cannot achieve much. At best, reservation is ‘palliative’ and no de­cisive transformation can take place unless such a measure is accompanied by structural changes in the nation’s productive relations. Women’s reservation will further divide the population artifi­cially.


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