Women to get 50 pc quota in panchayat

Women to get 50 pc quota in panchayat

The decision, to be effected through a Constitutional amendment, means women will occupy 1.4 million of the close to 3 million panchayat seats. The National Commission for Women (NCW) and prominent women parliamentarians have welcomed the measure.
“The Cabinet today (Thursday) approved the proposal for moving a bill to amend Article 243 D of the Constitution for enhancing reservation for women in panchayats in all tiers from one-third to at least 50 per cent,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said.

“This provision will apply to the total number of seats filled by direct election, offices of chairpersons and seats and offices of chairpersons reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” she added.

The decision comes even as the government is yet to evolve a consensus on a bill reserving 33 per cent of seats in Parliament and state Assemblies for women. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1996. The Centre reintroduced the bill in the Rajya Sabha in May last to ensure that it did not lapse.

The Constitutional amendment, which is likely to be moved during the winter session of Parliament beginning mid-November, will not apply to local bodies in urban areas. “Urban and local bodies may be covered later,” Soni said.

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