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Women Reservation Bill Reportedly Passed By Cabinet

The union cabinet key meeting held on Monday reportedly cleared the bill of women's reservation that will ensure 33% reservation to women in politics.

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Pavi Vyas
Sep 19, 2023 13:00 IST
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Image Credits: India Today.

The key cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Union Ministers reportedly cleared the Women's-Reservation-Bill that will ensure 33 % of reservations to women in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. 
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The Government has yet not made an official statement and skipped the regular formal briefing that is held following the cabinet meeting. However, PM Modi earlier remarked about the special meeting held on September 18 to be taking "historic decisions." 

Historic Decision By PM's Cabinet

A historic moment for women in politics, as the special key meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Union Ministers has reportedly passed the long-pending bill of women's reservation.

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There were hearsays that the special cabinet meeting might make decisions on several key issues such as reservations of women or other backward classes, change in the name of the nation, and 'One Nation, One Election.' 

The much-debated bill is most likely to be approved and talked about in the Parliament meetings soon after the alarming statistics of women's representation in Indian politics came to light that stated women constitute less than 15% in Lok Sabha while the number falls even lower than the mark of 10% when calculated the state assemblies. Currently, the lower house of the Indian parliament, Lok Sabha constitutes 78 women among the total number of 543 seats in the house. 

About The Bill

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The bill was introduced in 2008 and first came into action in 2010 when the upper house of parliament, Rajya Sabha passed the bill suggesting reservation for women in all legislative bodies, however, the development of the bill has been pending since then as it received a lot of opposition in Lok Sabha. 

It was proposed by the Rajya Sabha to add a new clause to bill 330A that stated "Seats shall be reserved for women in the House of People." However, the bill lapsed as it failed to attain the required one-third members of the Lok Sabha to approve the bill. 

Some regional parties demanded reservations for other backward classes, scheduled castes and Anglo-Indians within the overall reservation for women which has been one of the major key sticking points in the pathway of passing this Bill.

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The Government also required two-thirds support from each house to pass the bill, but doubts persist about how to implement the reservations in Rajya Sabha and bring the bill under the current election system. 

However, major political parties like Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress always backed the bill and on September 18 the special Key Cabinet Meeting reportedly gave the green light to the long-pending bill that will ensure gender equality as it will reserve 33% of seats for women in Lok Sabha and State Assembly

Opposition Comes Out In Support

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There was a hope of clarity after the cabinet meeting, but the tension persisted as the government skipped the customary briefing. However, later sources confirmed the buzz around the speculation of the bill to be finally taken to Lok Sabha. 

Later in the evening, Congress's leader Jairam Ramesh also posted on his X handle, that it has been a "long-standing demand" of the Congress to implement the Women's Reservation in the Indian Parliament, and now we all await to receive details about the bill. However the communication-in-charge, Jairam Ramesh also criticised the special key meeting in the same tweet stating that this could have been very well discussed in the all-party meeting as well instead of operating under the veil of secrecy by the current ruling party. 

If this bill passes by the Lok Sabha, it will improve the gender parity in Indian Politics as our country is known to be the greatest democracy in the world. 

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PM Modi commented on the clearing of the Bill by cabinet calling it 'agnipariksha' or trial by fire for MPs and PM in the cabinet meeting. The bill will now be tabled in Lok Sabha. 


Suggested Reading: How Push For Women's Reservation Bill Continues Even After 27 Years

#women's reservation bill #gender equality
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