33% Quota for Women

A 33% quota for women has been a much debated issue and very little positive action has been taken towards its implementation.

Seeing the unwillingness of parties to actually go ahead and implement it, the Election Commission has proposed to give 33% of the nominations to women in the parliamentary elections. Though far from the real thing, it looks like a step forward to bring in awareness and test the waters. We all know political parties resort to unlimited scruples to please the 'Janata'. And so they would probably allot women to the weakest seat in their bag.

We do however realize that there are many that would resent even this to the women and there are bound to be some women who after the exposure of fighting a parliamentary seat, would rise in later years. To some extent this is a less dramatic but useful proposition. We truly believe that social change that comes gradually is better than sudden and forced changes that leave scars. We love our men as much as we do our women so let there be no scars that may never heal even after the wounds do.

Having said this, we see reluctance from leading parties even for this compromise. The parties have made statements towards their approval but no concrete evidence towards implementation has been seen. And yet out of the blue, the BJP promises to reserve 33% of all posts in its organizational structure for women. We are elated and refuse to be critical - at least for another semester. When the BJP implements this, as promised, within the next three months, it would mean the presence of 27 women in the party's 81-member national executive.

Infact let us explain a few points to assure some borderline critics, who feel a candy is being offered to women in place of the real thing and their attention is being diverted. So be it! But if the BJP actually implements this we will be at the least, preparing a set of women to accept responsibilities and inspire others who struggle to get a party post at even sub-divisional levels. This we feel, could work like a top to bottom effect rather than the other way round. Yes! Yes! We understand, two Mrs. Gandhis did not make the Congress implement any of the above policies.

Point is, let us give the men more exposure and let them not be limited to knowing only strong headed women like Uma Bharati, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Mayawati and perhaps their wives who scare and intimidate them.

Also giving them exposure of this kind would perhaps result in the realization that maybe a bunch of shriller voices on their benches will help prove a point better than throwing chairs and also prevent some members from falling asleep during sessions. Since ability is something the party bosses doubt, maybe utility will appeal more.

From : Webmaster
29th Jan ' 08

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