Demanding that the Lok Sabha table the Women’s Reservation Bill for clearance during the Winter session of Parliament, the Women’s Wing of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee addressed a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
Members of the KPCC Women’s Wing, led by their President Lakshmi Hebbalkar, met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday and submitted the memorandum to him.
“It is extremely unfortunate that women have only 11% representation in Parliament. Clearly, such low numbers in legislative bodies will have serious consequences for women and society at large,” the memorandum states.
It points out that the BJP had made a commitment to bring in 33% reservations in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas in its manifesto for the 2014 general elections, but showed no signs of bringing in the change even three years later.
“On an issue that affects the rights of 586 million women in India, you (PM Modi) have remained silent. The introduction of this bill in the Winter session is imperative to ensure the reservation is in place for the next general elections as there is substantial work envisaged by the bill,” the memorandum states.
It also says that a signature campaign launched by the Congress called ‘#Womenfor33%’ has received over 32 lakh signatures, which were submitted to the President of India on October 23, along with a request to expedite the introduction of the bill.
Speaking to TNM, Hebbalkar said that the KPCC Women’s Wing had also met Deputy Commissioners of all districts, and have persuaded them to also send memoranda to the PM.
“We want it to be clear that it is not only the party workers, but that women from every village in Karnataka are demanding that the bill for reservation of women be passed at the earliest,” she said.
Hebbalkar said that the BJP’s decision on the bill would prove its commitment to gender equality.
“Congress has always been a party which has fought for women’s rights. The BJP promised to bring in 33% reservation during the election, but it has successfully neglected the issue ever since. Their commitment to issues pertaining to women’s equality will be judged on the basis of the action the Central Government takes. The whole world will watch for the decision the Union Government will make,” she said.
It is about time women are truly empowered in the political sphere. We will not rest until that is achieved,” she added.