Women warn parties not to oppose women’s reservation

March 19th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Women activists Wednesday warned that political parties opposing a bill seeking to reserve a third of seats in all legislatures for women will face mass protests. Ranjana Kumari, president of Women Power Connect, an NGO working on women’s issues, said they would not settle for anything less than 33 percent reservation of seats for women in parliament and state legislatures.

She was speaking at a meeting of women’s groups and MPs here.

“The 33 percent reservation of seats in bodies of local governance has resulted in women becoming active and valuable participants in grassroots level decision making structures,” Kumari said.

“If such a strategy was employed across all levels, higher level decision would also benefit from the dynamic involvement and leadership of women. We have urged MPs to raise the issue in parliament tomorrow,” she said.

She warned that any party resisting the bill would have to face mass protests.

“Despite being a democracy proclaiming gender equality, women, who constitute 50 percent of the Indian population, comprise a mere 8 percent of parliament,” she said.

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