Yeh Hai Life!

Too Early To Celebrate ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’

In India, Politics, Women's Issues on March 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Indian newspapers are hailing the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill through the Rajya Sabha (India’s Upper House of Parliament). The bill will reserve one-third of seats in the Parliament and State Assemblies for women.

There are currently 59 women in the 545-member Lok Sabha. Under the proposals their numbers would rise to 181. The composition of the 245-seat upper house, which at present has 21 women, will not be affected as its members are indirectly elected by state assemblies. (BBC)

Hold the celebrations for now because the Bill, formally known as the 108th constitutional amendment, must now be passed by the Lok Sabha and ratified by at least half the States before it comes into effect.

If and when it is passed by the Lok Sabha, we hope this bill will not become the foundation on which a few more political dynasties will be launched from the shoulders of the women in the family. This post ‘The Dangers Of Dynasties’ from The Diplomat is a must read, and includes this sobering statistic:

Of the 81 young lawmakers elected this time [2009 India elections], 50 came from political families, with 33 of the 50 MPs following in their fathers’ footsteps into politics. Meanwhile, of the 59 women representatives, almost two-thirds have close male relatives who are politicians


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