To contest the implementation of 33% women’s representation in the Lok Sabha, seven women’s organisations gathered at YWCA on Tuesday. Organisations including the Joint Women’s Programme (JWP), the All India Democratic Women’s Association, ANHAD and the Centre for Developmental Studies met up for future planning and deliberation.

JWP Director Jyotsna Chatterji said, “33% reservation is just a mirage. There is hardly any representation of women in Parliament and it is unfortunate for a developing country to not include its women in the process,” The Hindu reported.

She also called out the ruling party and said that the BJP manifesto claimed to give 50% reservation to women in the Lok Sabha. But even it is silent for the past three years.

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“Just like cows, the safety of women has also become a mirage. They fight in our names and use our names to the fullest, but nothing good comes out for us,” Ms Chatterji said.

Another representative, Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women said, “They [the BJP] keep chanting slogans like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao but have not uttered a single word on the Bill.”

“ India’s development depends on all the indicators which affect women’s lives. Men take major decisions affecting common women’s well-being like their education, health, their representation in corporate etc.”- Ranjana Kumari 

Criticizing the attitude of silence, she said, “We need more and more women in power to understand and raise important issues that women face.”

“Men, sitting in power, conveniently tell us that women are not competent enough to hold power. This attitude needs to change. Once a man even asked me who was our male champion for the cause. I told him we have struggled and become strong enough to survive without men, and we can fight without them too,” said CSR head Ranjana Kumari.

Kumari is fighting for the Women’s Reservation Bill for a long period now. In July 2016, she conducted a protest march demanding 50% quota for women in Lok Sabha. At that time, she told SheThePeople.TV, “Whatever happens in politics affects one personally. So if women are not there in governance India’s growth hampers. India’s development depends on all the indicators which affect women’s lives. Men take major decisions affecting common women’s well being like their education, health, their representation in corporate etc.”

Women’s Reservation Bill asks for 33% women’s representation in the lower house of the parliament. The Deve Gowda government proposed the bill in 1996. Then in 2010, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill but it failed to gather support in the Lok Sabha. And since then it has been an ongoing task for the bill to clear.

Pic credit- iKNOW Politics

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