New Delhi: The Women’s Reservation Bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023 was passed in Lok Sabha this week with majority votes. MPs manually voted on the bill and after the division of the votes, the bill received 454 votes in its favor and 2 against it. The bill, which was tabled by Union law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal in the inaugural session of the new Parliament, required two third numbers to get passed.
The bill, which grants 33 per cent seats to women in the lower house and state legislative assemblies, now moves to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) for discussion and passing. However, the quota can come into force only by 2029 since it has to be implemented after the delimitation of constituencies that will be conducted only after the next census, which is likely to be held after the 2024 general elections.
The Union Cabinet earlier approved the women’s reservation bill in a meeting after the first special session of Parliament. Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah appealed to the opposition for the unanimous passage of the women’s reservation bill and said shortcomings, if any, can be rectified at a later date.
Women account for almost half of India’s 950 million registered voters but make for only 15% of parliament and around 10% of state legislatures, pushing the world’s largest democracy to the bottom of the global list on gender parity in legislatures. The bill was officially introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996 by the UPA government. Since the last 27 years, the bill has been waiting to get approved by the Parliament.
PM Modi describes passage of bill as ‘golden moment’
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the passage of the Women’s Bill as a “golden moment” in India’s parliamentary history and credited the leaders of all political parties and members of the House for the achievement. Soon after the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, Modi rose to make a brief statement, saying as the leader of the House, he wholeheartedly thanks the members for their contribution to the “sacred” task.
He said the decision and the upcoming culmination in the Rajya Sabha will change the mood of “matrushakti” and the confidence that it will create will emerge as an unimaginable force for taking the country to new heights. “To accomplish this sacred task, I, as the leader of the House, have stood to acknowledge and express gratitude from the core of my heart for your contribution, support and meaningful debate,” the prime minister told the Lok Sabha.