Vijayawada Metropolitan Sessions Judge Murali says women have not been given adequate representation in legislative bodies

Vijayawada Metropolitan Sessions Judge R. Murali on Tuesday said that implementation of the long-pending Bill envisaging 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative bodies was the only way to strengthen the fair sex. “Our country’s population has crossed 100 crore and women constitute 50 per cent of it. But they have not been given adequate representation in legislative bodies,” he said, addressing a Southern Regional Meeting on 33 per cent Women Reservation Bill.

The meeting was preceded by a rally represented by various organisations and students, from Montessori Mahila Kalasala to Vedica near Benz Circle. The event was organised by Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) in coordination with Women Power Connect and the Centre for Social Research, New Delhi. Mr. Murali lamented increasing use of money and muscle power in elections which, he said, provided no scope for women to join the fray. Director and Correspondent of Montessori Educational Institutions V. Koteswaramma said women actually deserve 50 per cent quota. “But we are asking for only 33 per cent. Citing the example of Durgabai Deshmukh, she said education was the key to women empowerment. We need concerted and relentless efforts to realise the long-cherished dream,” she said. Telugu Desam Party’s State general secretary Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao said that it was unfair that a demand like reservation for women had been kept in the cold storage.

He said the TDP would do all it could for implementation of the Bill.

City secretary of CPI (M) Ch. Babu Rao said that reservation for women in Parliament was a social need. “By implementing it, the government would be lending meaning to Indian democracy. It may not bring about a complete change in the political scenario, but it would certainly be a step ahead in the right direction,” he said amid applause. Former Mayor Tadi Sakuntala urged the media to focus on achievements of women leaders. “We have enough laws to protect and safeguard women but these are not being implemented effectively,” she bemoaned and said men must come forward to share power with their women counterparts.

Former MP and VMM president Chennupati Vidya presiding over the session said that women were more organised, hard-working and committed.

Former Mayors Mallika Begum, P. Anuradha and M.V. Ratna Bindu, CPI leader Durga Bhavani, Women and Child Welfare Department Project Director Krishna Kumari, former national president of Indian Medical Association G. Samaram, VMM secretary G. Rashmi and others participated.

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