Nari Shakti: For how long must women be patient?
- Women have been denied a rightful share in power for longer than anyone’s memory can stretch back, but what’s still being stretched is our patience on a long promised rebalance
Good things come to those who wait’ is a saying advocating patience and stoicism, but women have been waiting far too long for the women’s reservation bill that seeks to reserve a third of seats in Parliament and all legislative assemblies for women. The government introduced the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023 in Parliament on Tuesday and it passed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after a discussion that had Sonia Gandhi, Kanimozhi, Supriya Sule and others speaking on the long-awaited legislation. The Bill is now on the verge of final approval, but even so, provisions requiring an all-India Census and constituency revamp before it is implemented suggest that a general election in 2029 may well be the first in which 33% of seats will be kept aside for women. That’s at least five more years of waiting for a rebalance that has been hanging fire for more than 30 years. For whatever virtues it has, must we test the patience of women this way?