NOTICE TO UPA GOVERNMENT ON WOMENS RESERVATION BILL
31st July 2006
Ten national women’s organizations have issued notice to the UPA Government that they will not brook any further delay in passage of the 33% Women’s Reservation Bill. They demanded that there should no more postponement in the guise of “consensus.” There has been a positive change in the stance of some of the alliance partners. This should be made into an opportunity, and the original Bill should be introduced in Parliament immediately for an open discussion. After members move their amendments, the Bill should be put to vote. The Congress should take the responsibility and ensure that this gets done.
A three dharna will be held on Parliament Street near Jantar Mantar to compel the Government to take action. If the demand is not fulfilled, women’s organizations have asserted that the campaign will intensify, and spread to all parts of the country.
Those who addressed the Press Meet were Ms.Mohini Giri from Guild of Service, Ms.Jyotsna Chatterjee from JWP and YWCA, Ms.Annie Raja from NFIW, Ms.Sudha Sundararaman from AIDWA, and Mary John from CWDS.
1. All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA),
2. All India Women’s Conference (AIWC),
3. Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS),
4. Forum for Rights of Children (FORCES),
5. Guild of Service
6.Joint Women’s Programme (JWP),
7. Muslim Women’s Forum (MWF),
8.National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW),
10. YWCA of India.
For ten years the 33% Women's Reservation Bill has been pending before Parliament. It is on the election manifesto of every National party, but has not got translated into law, though promises have been made in abundance. Every conceivable alternative has been proposed, but these have proved at best impractical and at worst deliberate attempts to divert the Bill from its main objective of providing one-third representation for half the population of India. Though women make a significant contribution to the economy and society, they are today grossly underrepresented in Parliament and State Assemblies.
The monsoon session of Parliament has not included the Bill in its list of business, and we, the women’s organizations, who have been fighting consistently for its passage, understand that without widening and intensifying the struggle, this Bill is never going to see the light of day.
We have called for a 3-day dharna at Jantar Mantar jointly, in which we will highlight the importance of the Bill. On August 2nd, we will highlight the issue in the context of the elected representatives at panchayat and state level, who will be participating in the dharna. On August 3rd, we will focus on professionals and working women in different spheres, who will also be taking part. On August 4th there will be a mass mobilization of the “aam aurat” to remind the Government about its commitment on this issue.
We request you –men and women from all walks of life-, to join the dharna and extend your support in every possible way. We hope women employees will join us in large numbers on 3rd August, and also participate in the rally to Parliament scheduled for 12 pm that day. Students, youth, and all working people- your support is essential to get this important demand fulfilled.
We would also like to ask artists, musicians, theatre groups, and other cultural activists to come to the venue and express their views through their diverse art forms.
We invite you to come, take a stand, and be part of this movement for a stronger and more vibrant democracy.
2nd August, 2006 - from Panchayat to Parliament.
3rd August, 2006 - from Profession to Parliament.
4th August, 2006 - from Platform to Parliament
Time : 10 am to 5.30 pm.
Venue: Parliament Street, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi - 1
All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA),
All India Women's Conference (AIWC),
Centre for Women's Development Studies (CWDS),
Forum for Rights of Children (FORCES),
Guild of Service,
Joint Women's Programme (JWP),
Muslim Women's Forum (MWF),
National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW),
YWCA of India