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Women's Reservation Bill:Implementation & Contingency Clause



  Sep 28, 2023

Women's Reservation Bill and Gender Equality



Q: What does the Women's Reservation Bill entail?

Answer: The Women's Reservation Bill, recently passed in Parliament, provides one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies.

Q: Why is women's representation in politics important?

Answer: Women's representation is vital for inclusive governance. Currently, India ranks 141 out of 193 countries in terms of women's participation in Parliament.

Q: How has reservation for women in local elections affected governance?

Answer: Research shows that women elected to local bodies have increased their participation despite challenges from male family members.
A similar outcome is expected at higher elected levels.

Q: What is the impact of delimitation on the implementation of the law?

Answer: The law's implementation depends on the conduct of the next Census and delimitation exercise, which may affect States' representation based on population.

Q: Is the contingency clause in the law legally sound?

Answer: The legality of a law contingent on an uncertain future event may need determination by constitutional courts.(Read on)

Q: How can gender roles be changed for substantive gender justice?

Answer: Substantive gender justice requires changing societal approaches to gender roles,
including equitable sharing of household responsibilities and unpaid labor.

Q: What initiatives recognize and address unpaid household labor?

Answer: Initiatives like the Magalir Urimai Thogai in Tamil Nadu, a monthly cash transfer program,
aim to recognize and address the unequal burden of unpaid household labor borne by women.

Q: How can capacity-building for women in politics be ensured?

Answer: Governments should take measures to build capacity for first-time women representatives, similar to initiatives like EMILYs List in the U.S.,
which provides guidance and mentorship for women in politics.

Q: What role should government bodies play in promoting women's participation?

Answer: The National Commission for Women and the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women should be revised to ensure that the women's reservation law leads to meaningful outcomes.

Contingency clause

A contingency clause is a legal provision within a law or contract that specifies that the implementation or effect of that law or contract is dependent on the occurrence or non-occurrence of a particular event or condition in the future.
In the context of the Women's Reservation Bill discussed in the article, the contingency clause likely refers to a provision that makes the implementation of the reservation of one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies contingent upon the conduct of the next Census and the subsequent delimitation exercise.
This means that the law will only be put into effect if certain conditions related to these future events are met.


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