Parliament failed to pass the Bill 33 per cent reservation for women in elections

6:47 PM, Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Margarate AlvaMangaluru : The former Governor of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan and Congress leader Margaret Alva on Wednesday blamed the male members of Parliament for their failure to pass the Bill providing 33 per cent reservation for women in elections.

Speaking on the topic ‘women in politics’ after receiving the Mother Mary Aloysia Endowment Award at St. Agnes College, Ms. Alva – an alumnus of the college – observed that men in Parliament had “stalled” the Bill. She said women must push for reservation and their due rights.

Women’s agenda did not get support in Parliament, she said. It was a constant battle and they would have to work with men to convince them that they were capable of influencing the political sphere and be a part of the decision-making process.

Margarate AlvaRegretting that women were being denied their role in decision-making both within homes and outside, she said that not only was patriarchy the biggest obstacle to women, but it also forced women to marry the men who raped them, she said. Women were unpaid labourers of love with no rights. In rural areas in particular they have to be beasts of burden.

Though a lot had changed over the years, a lot more needed to be done, Ms. Alva said. In gram panchayats where women were decision-makers, they were showing their human side by giving attention to drinking water problems and construction of toilets.

Despite opposition from men in every imaginable way, they were standing together to form powerful groups, she said. Principal of the College M. Supriya was present.

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