Vol 39 - Issue 3

Political Empowerment – Women’s Reservation Bill

The WRB campaigns strive to achieve 33% reservation and increase female representation in political spaces. We recently held state level consultations in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata.

These state-level meetings welcomed all participants to discuss the necessity and impact of the Women’s Reservation Bill. The main objective was to highlight that the right to vote does not equate with equal representation and though India has allowed women the right to vote since independence, but, even today the percentage of women representatives is still extremely low.

The Chennai Consultation – was held on 20th July, 2019 at Loyola College organized and facilitated by Global Concerns India, Shakti-Political Power to Women and Centre for Social Research. This consultation did not just invite speakers but also had a unique public opinion forum where everyone could share their views about the Women’s Reservation Bill and the need to pass it. Dr. Ranjana Kumari, who has been spearheading the cause of women in politics for decades, opined “The Women’s Reservation Bill has a long and sordid history. When we say a bill is tabled. There is usually no physical document that is presented- however, in this case, there was a document, and it was torn multiple times by the very parties that claim to stand for social justice.”

The Maharasthra Consultation – was held on 27th August, 2019 at SNDT Arts College, Churchgate with association with Centre for Social Research, Women Power Connect and Mahila Rajsatta Andolam (MRA). The conference was a major effort to facilitate women’s participation as well as representation in the political arena in line with the Reservation Bill.

The Kolkata consultation – was held on 27th September, 2019 in collaboration with Jabala Action Research Organization and National Alliance of Women. There were 52 participants who elaborated on how this is the longest pending Bill in the history of India and it is not a demand but the constitutional right of women which has been blocked by the patriarchal mindset of our society.

All these consultations ended with gathering huge support for this Bill. We have also been collecting signatures for the campaign as part of WRB. The number has gone up to 50,000 signatures and we continue to receive more every day.

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