Women’s reservation bill; The much hyped answer to all problems of equality that women have faced in governance.
It has been doing the rounds for 13 years, and finally it is set to become a law. The UPA Government wants to pass it by March 8th – as a gift to the country on Internal women’s day. and with the Left and the BJP backing it too. It is all set to soon become reality.
The Bill proposes to have 33% reserved seats for women in parliament. So, what’s wrong with it? Here is what’s wrong:
1. A new Inequality cant balance out the old one: Think of this as a two teams who are in possession of one side each of a weighing balance. The process starts with one side winning heavily i.e. its very heavy on their side. So, the other team starts uploading weights on their side, this process continues. Sensing that the other team will take away their edge, they too start pilling stones. In the end both teams are pilling stones but the balance is not achieved.
All, that I am trying to say is that it would make more sense if we work towards removing the already existent inequality, rather than create a new one in the hope that it will balance the first one.
2. Why should we vote for someone just coz for being a woman? : Why should I, as a citizen vote for a contestant just coz she is a woman? Like what happened in the case of Pratibha Patil’s Presidential vote. What other credentials does she have other than just being a woman? In what way can she beat Dr. Kalam?
3. There is no such thing as a short-term or temporary quota: The SC/ST/OBC Quota was supposed to be there only for the first 15 years too. Then, why is it still there? Simple. If the people in parliament are elected based on their caste and not merit, why would they ever want to not win again and scarp the only reason they got elected? I don’t see a reason why this wouldn’t happen in the case of women’s reservation.
4. Women seeking equality with men lack ambition: I don’t think that woman need a quota to assert themselves. Even if there is a quota, it is only going to serve the rich and powerful who will rule through their wives. The problem today is how politics is going out of reach the common people(both men and women). And no quota can solve that issue
5. Where would my right to equality go?: Lets assume a scenario where my constituency is in a pathetic state and I want to change it. so, I want to stand for election? But I wont be able to do it. Why? coz the seat is reserved for women. Is this justified? Doing Injustice to men, is not equal to doing justice for woman, is it?
6. It doesn’t matter how the world sees you, what matters is how you see yourself: And by declaring that women are not capable enough to win seats in the real environment, you are not earning respect but just pity. Is this empowering women?
I support woman empowerment, and will continue to do so. I just don’t think quotas are a way of solving problems of inequalities. coz,
“Handing out alms to a beggar doesn’t teach him how to earn his bread, but the day you don’t. he will go hungry today, but starts working from tomorrow”
I don’t think women need a stupid quota to prove their worth. and if you think you do, I would say be a bit more ambitious. coz it is nothing more than a declaration that you are no good on your own and that is why you need a special environment to be successful
“To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been regressed. The demand for granting preferential treatment to women is an admission on her part of her inferiority and there has been no need for such a thing in India as the women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle…. We must have no mutual conflict in our homes or abroad. We must transcend differences. We must rise above nationalism, above religion, above sex.”
– Sarojini Naidu
(at the Fourth session of All India Women’s Conference, Bombay, 1930)
Post-Read: I found this initiative called True Equity Network and they are also working on the same lines. Here is there page True Equity Network