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Title: A study on women’s reservation in the Indian parliament.
Authors: Pegu, Sanjana 
Ganvir, Rutika 
Keywords: Political science;Women’s empowerment;Women’s reservation;Women’s reservation bill;Democracy
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Series/Report no.: PGP_CCS_P9_100
Abstract: Though India is developing economically and technologically by leaps and bounds, women here still continue to be discriminated. “You can tell the condition of the nation by looking at the status of women.” - Jawaharlal Nehru Even though the women in India have given adequate evidence of their competence and proved their administrative abilities, they have not yet achieved the desired level of respect and participation in the political circle. It is only a few women who have risen above the shackles of society to make a mark for themselves. Woman still suffers discrimination and injustice in all stages of her life. For this purpose it is essential that women be given adequate representation in the legislative bodies of the nation. The Women’s Reservation Bill has been introduced several times in the Parliament over the years but has not been passed as yet. There have been numerous issues which have surrounded the bill from the time of its introduction. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments passed in 1993, provided for 33% quotas for women’s representation in the local self-government institutions. They were enacted without any pressure or persistent demand from women or any other section. The smooth passage of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments encouraged all major national political parties to commit themselves to extending 33% women’s quota to state legislatures and Parliament. The 81st Constitutional Amendment Bill, popularly known as the Women’s Reservation Bill (WRB), was introduced in the Parliament in 1996 to that effect. Highlights of the Women’s Reservation Bill: 1. As nearly as may be one-third of all seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies shall be reserved for women. 2. Reservation shall apply in case of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as well. 3. Seats to be reserved in rotation will be determined by draw of lots in such a way that a seat shall be reserved only once in three consecutive general elections. The aim of this study is to critically analyze the pros and cons of reservation for women in Parliament, why it is required, if at all and whether it might make a difference to the status and condition of women in the country. We also propose to look at the opponents of this bill and the merits (or demerits) of their case. The Bill will be explored in its current form and the various alternatives will be thoroughly investigated and recommendations for the best alternative will be given based on its implementability and supportability.
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