An adult human female; a female worker or employee; a female domestic help; a wife or lover – the Oxford Dictionary describes a woman. The meaning defines all the roles that a woman plays. She can be a caring mother, a friendly sister, a loyal worker and a faithful wife. But then why the Women’s Reservation Bill is disputed? Can’t women be a part of politics? Why is it questioned? Isn’t it as important a law as the other laws?
The Women’s Reservation Bill proposes to provide thirty three percent of all seats in Lok Sabha and state legislatives assemblies shall be reserved for women. It has been one of the most argued debates in political circles. Reason being, as some argue, that it would help the elite women to gain power thus aggravating the condition of the poor and deprived sections.
The Indian woman today is growing and heading towards self-dependency. Economic stability with growing number of women taking jobs has led to self- reliance and has come forward to fight for their rights in the society. The role of women has changed from just being a nurturer to a provider. She not only provides mental support to her family but has also become the financial backbone of the family. Be it sports, entertainment, arts or politics, women are growing, being at par with their male counterparts. Then why not extend their responsibility in the decision making process?
Indian politics has already seen women coming into power and making strong decisions which have led to positive developments in the country. From Sarojini Naidu during the Independence era to Indira Gandhi as the first Lady Prime Minister to presently Sonia Gandhi as a leader of the ruling party Indian National Congress, the substance in women in politics is increasing and they constructively worked towards the interest of the country. The Women’s Reservation Bill will help in bringing forward a lot more women who will work as harbingers of change in the democracy. The question of a woman’s credibility cannot be questioned in lieu of mere assumptions and age old stereotypes. After all, it’s the ‘Bharat Mata’ idol of our country that has been worshipped since time immemorial.
Every coin has two sides. So does any issue. There will be biases, there will be some individuals who will misuse the power vested in them, but then there will be participation. Women would be aware of their rights and would work towards it. Women reservations in Gram Panchayats has seen a considerable amount of improvement in women’s condition in rural areas and their active participation has also led in the transparency of the political system in the villages because of the trickledown effect where the decisions made by the head has seeped to the lowest sections of the society.
Indian women have been a victim of a lot of social evils which has made her character stronger and its will powerful. Generations of atrocities have made her tough and she has learnt from her ancestors to fight for causes. What a women needs is a platform, an opportunity to stand for justice and help the men in making the nation a better place to stay and sustain its place in the forefront of international politics. The Women’s Reservation Bill will surely help in bringing the change and empowering women in a country where ‘Jai Mata Di’ is more pronounced than ‘Jai Shri Krishna’.