“Empowering Women: Reservation Bill 2023”


The Women: reservation Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The bill, also known as the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam,‘ intends to reserve 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi’s Legislative Assembly for women. The quota would also apply to seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures reserved for SCs and STs. The reserve will become effective after the census performed following the passage of this bill is published. The reservation will be in effect for 15 years, but it will be extended until a date decided by a bill passed by Parliament. Women’s seats shall be rotated following each delimitation, as established by a bill passed by Parliament.

The Women’s Reservation Bill has a long and illustrious history. In 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2008, bills modifying the Constitution to reserve seats for women in Parliament and state legislative assemblies were introduced. The first three bills expired when their respective Lok Sabhas were dissolved. The Rajya Sabha introduced and passed the 2008 law, however it too expired with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. The necessity for a legislature was realized because women continue to be underrepresented in state legislatures and Parliament. The number of women MPs has climbed from 5% in the first Lok Sabha to 15% in the 17th Lok Sabha, yet it remains very low.

The Women’s Reservation Bill will go into force during the next delimitation process, which could happen after the first census held after 2026. The bill excludes women’s reservations from the OBC category.

Key point of Women:Reservation Bill 2023

1: 33% Reservation: The bill seeks a 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament’s lower house) and the Assemblies of State and National Capital Territory of Delhi.

2:Reservation within Reserved Seats:The seats designated for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) would also have similar reservations.

3:15-Year Reservation Period: The reservation for women will last 15 years.

4:Rotational Reservation:After each delimitation exercise, seats earmarked for women will be rotated.

5:Special Majority:The bill must be voted by both houses of Parliament with a special majority in order to become law.

6:State Ratification:The Constitution Amendment Bill will need to be ratified by at least half of the states.

7:Political Empowerment:Women’s political empowerment is viewed as a significant weapon for eradicating gender inequality and injustice.

8:History:The bill’s history may be traced back to the 1996 Constitution (81st Amendment) Bill, which intended to reserve seats for women in the House of People and Legislative Assemblies.

9:Panchayat and Municipality Reservation:The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act of 1992 and the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act of 1992 established reservation for women in Panchayats and Municipalities.

10:Road Ahead:The measure has been introduced in Parliament, and its implementation will necessitate additional processes, including state ratification.

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