Women reservation bill won’t be passed soon: Kiran Bedi

March 9th, 2011 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Refusing to mince her words, former top cop Kiran Bedi Wednesday said she doesn’t think the women’s reservation bill will be passed anytime soon in parliament.

The bill, which seeks one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, was passed by the Rajya Sabha last year but is awaiting the nod from the lower house.

“If there was a political will to pass the reservation bill, it would have been done. The UPA chairperson is a woman, the leader of the opposition is a woman, the speaker of the house is a woman, the president is a woman… even Brinda Karat of the Left is a strong supporter of the bill, then what is stopping it from happening?” Bedi said at a discussion on the bill organised by the Centre for Social Research (CSR) here.

“Actually inside every party, there are people who don’t want the bill to be passed. That’s why there is this hindrance. This gaga over the bill is just a show,” she added amid applause from the audience, most of whom were women.

Bedi said that women are not really seen as a threat by the political parties.

“If you really want to do something then use your only tool - the right to vote. Maybe there should be a nationwide movement in which women say that they will not vote in the 2014 general elections if this bill is not passed. Then maybe things will change and I will be happy to be proved wrong,” she added.

Albina Shakeel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), another speaker at the discussion, said: “Yesterday’s incident in which a second year girl student was shot dead in broad daylight in the capital is yet another example how unsafe the city is for women.”

“More women in parliament will just mean that policies will be gender sensitive and things will change for the better - for women and the society as a whole,” she added.

CSR chairperson Ranjana Kumari unveiled her book “Reign She Will” on the occasion. The book traces the journey of the women’s reservation bill ever since it was mooted two decades ago by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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