Overwhelmed by the victory in the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, women's groups on Wednesday asked the government to place it in the Lok Sabha at the earliest to sustain the momentum.
“We hope that the United Progressive Alliance will do so immediately, and evolve strategies to address the possible obstacles to its smooth passage,” the National Women's Organisations — a collective of several groups — said in a statement. “We call on all the parties to extend their full support in the Lok Sabha, thereby taking the Bill closer towards becoming a reality without any further delay.”
The passage of the Bill in the Upper House signified a new milestone in the journey towards gender equality. “We thank all political parties, members of Parliament, and all the committed persons who made this historic day a reality. The support of countless men and women, the uncompromising stand taken by the democratic and progressive forces, and the ceaseless struggles by the women's movement have also contributed to this achievement in no small way.”
The statement was signed by Sudha Sundararaman (All-India Democratic Women's Association), Annie Raja (National Federation of Indian Women), Jyotsna Chatterjee (Joint Women's Programme), Mary John (Centre for Women's Development Studies), Mohini Giri (Guild of Service), Gomti Nayar (All-India Women's Conference), Sugra Mehdi (Muslim Women's Forum), Vimal Thorat (All-India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch) and Beulah Shekhar (Young Women's Christian Association).
Ranjana Kumari, president of WomenPowerConnect, another conglomerate of women's groups, said it was elated to see the Bill passed in the Upper House “after years of toil” and “passing through hundreds of hurdles,” and was hopeful of its adoption in the Lok Sabha too.