The 61 female members in the 15th Lok Sabha were high on hope and here we are! With the highest majority of women MP’s since independence. A majority of these MPs (23) belong to Congress. The BJP has contributed 13 women to the House. Uttar Pradesh has sent more women to parliament – 13 – than any Indian state and West Bengal is in second place with seven women MPs.
With one-tenth of our Lok Sabha members now women, India is closely in the bracket of developed nations such as the UK (19.3%), US (16.3%), Italy (16.1%), Ireland (14.2%) and France (13.9%) but still the position of women in Indian society is drastically different from that in the West.
The number of women MPs may having reached the high mark for the first time it is high time and high expectations whether the pending women’s reservation bill will be passed? What fruits will the overall change yield? Unlike their male counterparts taking their place in parliament, will they really do anything for women.
It shows a change in the mindset of the parties who are now giving more tickets to women MPs. Along with power, comes responsibility . There are high hopes of the new women parliamentarians.
As was reported in a national daily paper,
Why? Are women MPs any different from men? Do they have a different agenda ? Of course, says 27-yearold Agatha Sangma, an MP from Tura in Meghalaya and one of the youngest members of the 15th Lok Sabha. She says that financial independence is the most important issue for Indian women and women MPs should get together to help enact gender-sensitive legislation.
The lowest percentage of women representations was in the sixth Lok Sabha (1977-80) when there were only 3.8 percent women MPs. The first Lok Sabha (1952-57) had 4.4 percent women MPs. In the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), the figure was 9.2 percent, the research group said. But this time, women over 60 make a 13.80 percent, while it was a mere 9.8 percent in the 14th Lok Sabha.
The reservation bill, which seeks to reserve 33% of all legislature seats for women, was first introduced in parliament 13 years ago. With the continuous struggle to get through the desired wishes of the bill to be fulfilled, we the people await for the new women parliamentarians to focus on each and every issues that is directly related to enhancing the lives of less privileged women in our country.
Not only that there are many more tasks in general to be seen through. Hope for the best from the best!