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Essay on “Women should have reserved seats in Parliament” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Women should have reserved seats in Parliament


POINTS TO DEVELOP 1. Representation by women in Parliament is low by world standards.

  1. Circumstances do not favour women getting into Parliament on their own, unaided.

3.Why should women be present in Parliament?

 4.Empowerment through natural evolution is to be preferred, but that is a slow process.

  1. Reservation for a limited period is needed.


A Democratic republic based on equality and liberty should ideally have no reason to have reservation for an segment of society in Parliament or elsewhere. However, we do not live in an ideal situation Reservation is usually defended on the basis of the need to offer compensatory justice to rectify indefensible discrimination against certain sections of society, and the need to ensure equality through state intervention in support of the ‘deprived’ and the underprivileged. If we go by this justification for reservation, we see that women are indeed a discriminated lot as far as their representation in parliament is considered. The highest percentage of women through the Lok Sabhas so far hovers around 8 per cent of the seats. In Rajya Sabha it reached 11 per cent or so once. And , in population terms, women form almost 50 per cent of the total number of people in India. In number terms. At least, the inequity of representation is more than obvious. Such imbalances need to be corrected, and women need to participate more  actively in the political process. So why have more women not entered our legislatures?

In the existing patriarchal male dominated socio political system that prevails in India, women are not likely to get the opportunity to enter the political mainstream and be empowered. On e had high hopes that discrimination against women would end once India got independence and progressive laws were made. Women have certainly made great strides in the economi8c world with several holding lucrative and important jobs. But nothing much has changed within Parliament. Gender bias in political circles is very strong, and most parties are reluctant to give tickets to women for contesting elections. As a result most women are left out of the political process at the very stage of selection of candidates. It is this reluctance that makes one feel that reservation of seats for women alone will help indeed, force parties to give seats for women and seriously campaign for their victory, so that they coe to power.

           Those who favour reservations also argue that only the presence of a substantial number of women in decision-making bodies would help in eliminating the centuries-old gender-based discrimination in socio-economic and political field. It is because of the invisibility of women at the decision-making level for a long time that the concerns of  women and their specific needs have not been adequately articulated, leave alone addressed. In 1990 the UN Commission on the Status of  Women recommended a critical 30 per cent participation threshold to be regarded as the minimum for decision-making positions at the national  level, and they are often forced to make compromises India, despite having a growing number of women in well paid jobs, still ranks low in the gender-related development index as calculated by the UNDP Human Development Reports .Nor does it do too well in ender-empowerment measures Progressive lows have no doubt been made aimed  at empowering women in emplacements, health education and so on, but their implementation has been tardy. This suggests the absence of some vital catalyst and this catalyst could well be a more equal political space for women in Parliament. Reservation for women could well crate a new class of politically aware women who would demand their rights with the force of  conviction.

              Most women do feel that empowerment through natural evolution of society as a whole, through the effects of education and family welfare measures is to be preferred, but for that to happen within a reasonable time frame the right kind of foundations needed to be laid long ago. Most women also prefer getting better representation without reservation. Since, however ,that has not transpired, and since everything cannot be left to time alone, reservation has become a necessity. And practically every political party solemnly affirms that this is so. Not one is opposed to the policy openly. But , and this is what is somewhat disturbing, no political party is firmly acting on this ‘consensus’. Some excise or other is brought forward to postpone the introduction of the bill, or I introduced to delay its passage. One wonders even more, when the some kind of reservation was eagerly pushed through at the Panchayati Raj level. One has a sneaking feeling that the men appeared so benevolent precisely because they were  convinced that they were no longer concerned with jockeying for power at that grassroots level. It could out to contest and hold on to power. In spite of negative reports about the penchants being packed with women related to the men in power, there is evidence at least of some instances where the women have come in their own rights and done good for their villages. Unfortunately, these positive developments are seldom given the exposure they deserve. Any way, it seems as if the men have realised that women can and do win and make a mark of their own, and now they are loath to give up even a minuscule amount of power. And they also know that in the present circumstances women would have to put up the kind of fight most of  them are incapable of in the political arena- which is near brutish- without reservation. So , the opposition to reservation.

Reservation needs to be introduced. But on an interim basis, not to be extended as all such ‘positive discrimination’ measures tend to be in this country due to vested interests. Alongside reservation there  has to be a concerted effort to train women and equip them to fulfill their obligations to the people who elected them. One premise for reservation is that certain characteristics predominantly ‘feminine’ as they say, such as altruism, self –denial, and caring-which have been suppressed by patriarchy- will find a wider expression in the political  arena. If that is so we go all out for reserving seats for women in Parliament which has seen some forgettable scenes in the recent past.     


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