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Women’s quota unites parties in Parliament

Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha members on Thursday 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 as well as in state Assemblies. This was the first discussion that happened in the House in the second part of the Budget Session.

The House, which has been witnessing disruptions in the morning session since Monday, on Thursday seemingly spoke in one voice to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

Starting the discussion, Congress MP Ambika Soni said that the Rajya Sabha has passed the women’s reservation bill but it is still pending in Lok Sabha. She said that the Upper House pass a resolution that it is committed to this legislation.

“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,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said, making a reference to the International Women’s Day. “Visible policing and patrolling has to be increased, particularly in desolate areas and during nights, to curb crimes against women. No religion denigrates the status of women, aberrations have crept into our ways of living in modern times and they have to be eliminated,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The government, together with the opposition, should create an atmosphere to ensure the safety of women.” He also agreed with others on early passage of the women’s quota bill.

In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that women’s empowerment is the need of the hour and also a big challenge, as she extended greetings on the International Women’s Day. Ms Mahajan emphasised on the need to work together for all-round development of women for positive change. “If you consider man and woman as two wings of humanity, their empowerment is absolutely necessary for it to fly high,” she said.

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