The Women’s Reservation Bill 2023: More women Participation

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The women's reservation bill

Democracy of India witnessed a historic moment when the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed on September 18, 2023. It is a like a milestone on the long path of gender equality especially when it is with respect to the representation of women in politics. Now the representation of women in Lok Sabha as well as in the state legislature would be significant after the passage of this law. With the increase in the women’s participation in the politics of India at the highest level will fulfil the fundamental goal of the framers of the constitution. In this blog post I’ll try to illustrate the history, significance and criticism of the bill.

The Roots of the women’s reservation bill

The Women’s Reservation Bill isn’t something new. It actually comes from suggestions made by different groups like the National Commission for Women and the United Nations. More significant female presence in politics has been demanded for more effective governance at all levels of government. In the opinion of every political expert a good balance of representation between people of all gender is very essential for proper functioning of any institution.

Introduced in Parliament for the first time in the 1990s, the bill has encountered numerous hurdles during its legislative journey. Over the years, it has been introduced multiple times but has yet to be passed into law, often lapsing or being deferred due to political disagreements and resistance from various quarters, including some political parties and lawmakers.

The Ongoing Debate between the Critics and Supporters

The women’s reservation bill has not been without controversy. Critics are again performing their duty in the best possible way. They are yet again analyzing all the aspects of the bill with a hawk eye. As a result, they have put forward number of questions associated with this bill. Going a step ahead they haven’t hesitated in expressing their worries about the marginalized section of the society. One of the aspects about the bill that is worrying the critics more is the potential of this bill. I mean to say up to what extent the women population of India will benefit from this bill.

However, despite these challenges, many people support the law. Women who fight for their rights, groups that work to improve communities, and several female lawmakers are among them. People who support this law think it’s really important for getting rid of obstacles based on whether someone is a man or a woman in Indian politics. According to them involving women in process of decision making and policy making will not only improve their status in the society but will also lead to the inclusion of both the section of the society in a balanced way. Moreover, this will bring women in par with men. Undoubtedly, this law is a big leap towards a stronger democracy. Both criticism and significance of this law has been discussed in the upcoming paragraph.

The 2023 Women’s Reservation Bill: What’s New?

The newly passed bill, which is set to bring about transformative change, calls for the reservation of one-third (33.33%) of the total seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for women. It mandates 33 percent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, state Legislative Assemblies, and the Delhi Assembly. Additionally, it reserves one-third of seats for women within the existing SC and ST reservations. These seats will be reserved on a rotational basis, with reservations ceasing after 15 years.

Criticism: Complexity and Exclusivity

While the 2023 Women’s Reservation Bill is a significant step forward, it is not without its critics. The criticism are as follows:

Implementation Complexity

The bill’s implementation schedule presents a degree of complexity. According to the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Amendment) Act of 2023, the bill will go into effect once “an exercise of delimitation is undertaken for this purpose after the relevant figures for the first Census taken after that date have been published.” The specific election cycle from which women will start receiving their fair share of seats is not clearly specified.


Another notable critique is that the new bill does not extend women’s reservation to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils, in contrast to previous regimes. According to the population of women their representation in the both the houses of the parliament is underrepresented. If we compare the condition of the two houses, it’s even worse in Rajya Sabha. Critics argue that both the Lower and Upper Houses must adhere to the concept of representation for true gender equality to be realized.

The Significance of the Women’s Reservation Bill

The Women’s Reservation Bill has significant effects on both India and the larger world:

Gender Equality and Empowerment

The bill’s primary objective is to promote gender equality by providing women with adequate political representation. With women constituting nearly half of India’s population, their participation in decision-making processes is fundamental to gender justice.

Political Participation

The outcome of this reservation will be a boost in the number of women entering into politics. As they have been playing a role of mere voters in the elections till now. Furthermore, there will be increase in number of women holding public offices. Thereby, there will be a good level of representation of women in all levels of governance.

Amplifying Women’s Voices and Issues

Greater representation of women in legislatures ensures that critical issues related to women’s rights, education, health, and safety are more likely to be addressed through policies and legislation.

Inspiration for Future Leaders

All those women who will be elected for political responsibility and public offices will become a source of inspiration other women and girls of different generations. This will surely inspire them to step forwards and take the command of the nation just like Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Challenging Patriarchy

The reservation of seats for women through this law is sure to challenge the ongoing patriarchal tradition and society.

Enhancing Governance

Research has consistently shown that gender diversity in decision-making bodies, including legislatures, leads to improved governance and decision-making. Diverse perspectives and experiences are valued.

Social and Economic Development

Empowering women politically can have positive ripple effects on social and economic development. It will further lead to the policies that will focus on gender equality and development. It will also try to improve the quality of education and health of women across different categories based on economic and religious criteria.

Addressing Gender Disparities

The opening of equal avenues of development and taking in consideration of women’s need and priorities will be possible with the successful implementation of this law. Moreover, it will fill the gap of inequality between the two genders.

International Commitments

India, as a signatory to international agreements and conventions advocating for gender equality and women’s empowerment, demonstrates its commitment to these global obligations through the implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Promoting Inclusive Politics

This bill will create a more diversified environment that will also be an inclusive one. As the political parties will be compelled to promote female leaders and provide them the responsibility to run the offices and portfolios.

Conclusion: Striving for Inclusive Governance

According to United Nations this reservation bill by India has brought it in the list of 64 countries which have already reserved seats for women in their Parliament. However, it is the hope of many that implementing such reservations will ultimately lead to achieving 50 percent representation of women in Parliaments across the globe.

We should remember that not everyone in India’s politics agrees with the Women’s Reservation Bill. Some people think this law might not change much and is just a way to show something is happening. But others believe it’s very important because women should be more involved in politics.

Making rules that reserve seats for women in politics is a good way to challenge the idea that only men should lead and to make sure everyone has the same chances. However, we should remember that only laws are not enough, but a better implementation of the laws is more important.  Now when India has become an example for the rest of the world by making a law for equalizing the position of women with men. And has written a golden chapter in the history of gender equality. Now it becomes the responsibility of each citizen to provide quality education and health care facilities to all the girls and women in the country.

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