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RS members press for early passage of women's reservation bill

Friday, March 09, 2018

New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha members today voiced concern over incidents of crime against women and made a strong case for early passage of the bill to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies.

The House, which has been witnessing disruptions and stalling of proceedings since Monday, today spoke in one voice on the issue of women's rights to celebrate the International Women's Day.

As soon as the members assembled to take up today's business, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made a reference to the International Women's Day, which is observed all over the world to celebrate the achievements of women as well as to renew commitment to empowering them and ending gender biases.

"With women constituting about 50 per cent of our population, social, economic and political empowerment of women, including providing reservation in Parliament and state legislatures, has to be accorded top priority for the country to achieve rapid progress," Naidu said at the outset.

He stressed the need to renew focus on gender equality and safety of women, besides efforts to educate and empower them.

The Women's Reservation Bill, seeking to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies, was passed by the Rajya Sabha in March 2010 and is pending passage in the Lok Sabha.

After Naidu's remarks, women MPs from different parties spoke on the issue and pressed for early passage of the legislation. On women's bill, External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had been its votary and even today she fully supports the pending legislation.

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