Hopes run high with women’s reservation bill

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Homemakers, students, professionals, social activists — many women are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 percent of seats in legislatures for women, will get passed in the Rajya Sabha Monday.

‘I am quite sure the women’s reservation bill will be passed this time. The kind of support the bill has garnered is good and for a change political parties have left behind their differences to stand united on this subject,’ said Arusha Verma, a school teacher.

Added Rakhi Bajaj, a student: ‘The government has the support of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the Left. So I am sure we will finally get to see 33 percent reservation in parliament. When that happens, it will be a milestone achievement for the women’s movement in India.’

Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily will move the bill in the Rajya Sabha Monday, the International Women’s Day.

‘What a day to take up the women’s reservation bill. I am quite hopeful that India will observe a unique Women’s Day on Monday with the passing of this bill,’ said Aradhana Dey, a homemaker.

Ranjana Kumari, chairperson of the Centre for Social Research, which started a signature campaign in support of the bill, is upbeat about the bill.

‘We are thankful and appreciative of the relentless efforts by President Pratibha Patil and of women leaders of political parties for strengthening the women’s movement,’ Kumari said.

N. Hamsa, executive director of the WomenPowerConnect, an NGO added: ‘We are very happy and optimistic. As a national women’s network we are determined to stand united to ensure that a handful of political parties do not obstruct the Bill from getting passed.’

Some, however, said that it would hardly make any differenc if the bill is passed or not.

Said Subhashree Subramanian, a student: ‘I am not sure what kind of difference will the bill make in my life. Maybe it will encourage women to join politics, but only time will testify that. There are reservations in the Panchayat level, but it’s often misused. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen after the bill is passed,’

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