Women’s Reservation Bill implementation: National Federation of Indian Women expresses concernstext_fields
New Delhi: The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) on Tuesday, while welcoming the government’s move to implement the Women’s Reservation Bill, also expressed certain concerns.
The Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill 2023 seeking to provide one-third (33%) of the total seats in the Lok Sabha, state Assemblies, and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi was tabled at the Parliament on Tuesday.
The reservation also includes a one-third sub-reservation for women among the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
NFIW pointed out that it was deeply disappointed that there is no mention of reservations either in the Rajya Sabha or in State Legislative Councils.
“There is clear mention of the National Capital Territory of Delhi but no mention about other Union Territories. No mention of Reservation for women in States which have three or less than three Parliamentary constituencies,” it said.
NFIW further said that all the successive governments have been providing “frivolous reasons” for not passing the bill since it was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1996, due to the “patriarchal approach that women are either incompetent at governance or disinterested”.
The bill is expected to be implemented only after a census and electoral delimitation exercise in 2029, which will adversely affect women as there will be elections to many state assemblies before 2029, NFIW said.
“It is here that we would like to state our apprehensions: Every time the Union government passes a Bill with the stated objective of it being beneficial to women, it means the exact opposite. It criminalized instant Triple Talaq, which has shattered families with men being arrested without proof. When the sole breadwinner is jailed, where does it leave the women and children?”, it asked.
NFIW had also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court contending that not introducing the Bill was “arbitrary, illegal and is leading to discrimination”.
While the apex court had sent notices to the Union government and political parties that promised to pass the Bill, the government had not filed a response.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna had then asked why the government was reluctant to file a response.