Cabinet Approves Landmark Bill Granting 33% Reservation to Women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies

Cabinet Approves Landmark Bill Granting 33% Reservation to Women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies

In a significant leap towards gender equality in Indian politics, the Union Cabinet has given its nod to the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, which paves the way for a groundbreaking development – 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and State Assemblies. This monumental decision was reached during a special Parliament session in response to fervent demands from Opposition leaders, including Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge and JD(U) MP Ram Nath Thakur. The approval of this bill marks a historic moment in India’s political landscape and a step closer to achieving greater gender balance in legislative bodies.

A Long-Awaited Victory for Gender Equality Advocates

The long-standing struggle for gender parity in Indian politics has reached a crucial turning point with the approval of the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008. This Bill addresses the pressing issue of underrepresentation of women in the highest decision-making bodies of the nation. For years, activists, politicians, and civil society groups have campaigned tirelessly for greater female participation in politics, and this development is a testament to their dedication and perseverance.

The Genesis of the Bill

The journey towards this historic decision can be traced back to the early 1990s when the idea of providing reservation for women in legislatures was first seriously considered. The Women’s Reservation Bill, which aimed to provide 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, was introduced in Parliament in various forms over the years. However, it faced numerous roadblocks and remained a contentious issue for decades.

See also  Liquor firms raise a toast to safe recovery, Q1 may hint at good times ahead

The current version of the Bill, the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, has undergone several iterations and revisions, reflecting the evolving nature of India’s political landscape and the changing dynamics of gender representation. After years of deliberation and negotiation, it has finally received the Cabinet’s approval.

cabinet approves 33% reservation for women in parliament

The Significance of 33% Reservation

The provision of 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies is a remarkable step towards addressing the gender disparity that has persisted in Indian politics. Currently, women make up a significantly low percentage of members in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. This reservation will not only increase the number of women in these bodies but also provide them with a stronger voice in shaping the nation’s policies and laws.

Key Highlights of the Bill

The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, comprises several key provisions aimed at promoting gender equality in politics:

1. 33% Reservation: As the cornerstone of the Bill, it mandates that one-third of the total seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies be reserved for women.

2. Rotation System: To ensure that the reservation does not benefit only a select few, the Bill incorporates a rotation system. It stipulates that the reservation will be applied in a phased manner, allowing different constituencies to benefit from it over time.

3. Reservation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes: The Bill ensures that the reservation for women is applied in conjunction with existing reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This aims to provide a comprehensive framework for inclusive representation in the legislatures.

See also  Prime Minister Acknowledges The Role Of Private Sector in Parliament, Does that mean very soon Indian Parliament will also be Privatized and will see Adani & Ambani as members of Parliament or Leaders of the House or maybe the Next Speaker?

4. Reservation for Anglo-Indians: The Bill also includes provisions for the reservation of seats for Anglo-Indians, a minority community in India, in accordance with the tradition of ensuring their representation in the Lok Sabha.

plea before supreme court seeks 33 percent reservation for women in parliament, state legislatures

Impact on Women’s Empowerment

The approval of this Bill represents a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for women’s empowerment in India. It acknowledges the vital role women play in the country’s development and governance. By granting them a more substantial presence in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, this Bill opens up new avenues for women to influence policies, advocate for gender-sensitive legislation, and address issues that disproportionately affect women.

Challenges Ahead

While the Cabinet’s approval of the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, is a momentous achievement, there are challenges that lie ahead. The Bill must now pass through the legislative process, which includes debates, voting, and potential amendments. Given the significance of this Bill, it is expected to generate intense discussions and deliberations in both houses of Parliament.

Furthermore, the implementation of the reservation policy will require careful planning and coordination. Political parties will need to identify and field women candidates in the reserved constituencies, and mechanisms for the rotation system will need to be established to ensure fair representation.

Public Reaction and Political Response

The news of the Cabinet’s approval of the Bill has elicited a wide range of reactions from the public and political leaders across the spectrum. Women’s rights activists, civil society organizations, and gender equality advocates have lauded this decision as a watershed moment for Indian democracy. They see it as a significant step towards dismantling systemic gender bias and fostering greater inclusivity in politics.

Political leaders have also weighed in on the development, with many expressing their support for the Bill. Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge and JD(U) MP Ram Nath Thakur, who played pivotal roles in pushing for the Bill’s consideration during the special Parliament session, have welcomed the decision as a triumph for the women of India.

See also  Anticipated Showdown: Rahul Gandhi Set to Address No-Confidence Motion Today, Responding to BJP's 'Escapist' Critique

However, it’s important to note that not all political parties and members of Parliament are in favor of the Bill. Some have raised concerns about the potential challenges and complexities of its implementation, including the rotation system and its impact on electoral dynamics.

A Global Perspective

India’s move towards providing 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies aligns with the global trend towards greater gender representation in politics. Many countries around the world have adopted similar measures to promote gender equality in their respective legislatures. These initiatives have shown promising results in enhancing women’s participation in decision-making processes and promoting policies that address gender-specific concerns.

twenty years too long: women's reservation bill continues to languish in lok sabha


The approval of the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, is a momentous step towards achieving gender equality in Indian politics. It reflects the nation’s commitment to addressing the historical underrepresentation of women in legislative bodies and ensuring that their voices are heard in shaping the country’s future.

While the journey towards full gender equality in politics is far from over, this landmark decision signals a significant shift in the right direction. As the Bill proceeds through the legislative process and eventually becomes law, it will be essential to monitor its implementation and assess its impact on women’s participation in Indian democracy. Ultimately, this historic move has the potential to reshape the political landscape of India, fostering a more inclusive and representative democracy for all.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker