Q . It is argued that women empowerment will not accomplish without providing the reservation to women be it in education, job or polity. In the context of the pending reservation bill in Parliament, examine the need of reservation and the challenges ahead. 24TH , NOVEMBER,2020 (15 marks, 250 words, GS-2)
- Introductory para about the current status of women and why we don’t have reservation.
- The next para to include the need of the reservation.
- Third para about the challenges and issues in implementing reservation.
- Final para about the way forward.
Violence against women is a heinous manifestation of deep-seated prejudices against them which dictate that she must be confined to the domestic sphere. These prejudices still dominate our ethos when we note that India’s female labour force participation rate has been dramatically falling, and has fallen to a historic low of 23.3% as per the NSSO.
The 2019 General Election made the way for highest number of women MPs- 14% of total seats- but still lower than the global average. As per the Inter-Parliamentary Union report, India fares poorer than countries such as Afghanistan (27.7%), Pakistan (20.6%) and Saudi Arabia (19.9%).
Why we still do not have it?–
- First, the Constituent Assembly lacked female support for it.
- Second, to facilitate their hegemony, the British had spent years dividing Indian society on the basis of religion, caste, ethnicity through the tool of separate electorates.
- Third, some male members seem to be guided by the gender notions of their times which either did not see women as capable enough to hold positions in the government or they were seen as a threat to men and the moral fabric of society.
Need for the reservation–
- Patriarchy– as it undermine the status of women
- Workforce participation– to provide economic freedom to women
- Education– as a section of women is still illiterate
- Political participation– still women are not part of policy making and hence their voice isn’t heard optimally
- Empowerment– to give freedom to women to make decisions
- Fulfilling of basic needs
What are the issues and challenges?-
- Patriarchy– the patriarchy obstructs the decision making for providing reservation as still the women reservation bill is pending for decades
- Social stigma– the society stops and obstructs the empowerment and improvement in the status of women
- Awareness– among the women is low and hence they too could not lead from front
- Participation– of women in legislation is low and so the political participation to work for women empowerment
- Religious practices– the regressive traditions and practices restrict the women from outside participation
Recently, Punjab provided 33% direct recruitment reservation to women in State Civil Services. Women’s reservation is a complex topic. While one-third reservation of women in panchayats and urban local bodies has led to a welcome spurt in female political participation and leadership, there are also instances of women being used as proxies by men to win elections in various states from Maharashtra to Bihar.