Caught in the Prism of Time – Women’s Representation in Parliament

The problem with the issue of women’s representation is not only a question of women’s own inhibitions and resistance, but also of structural deficits within the democracy. Despite several constitutional mechanisms, no structures or institutions are present which can guarantee equality and rights to women. Institutions such as Election Commission of India, National Commission for Women, etc. These bodies do not look into discrimination, and exploitation of women which are persistent, in the name of caste, religion, socio-economic status, and the marginalization which happens of Dalit minorities and jan jaatis. An important question to be pondered over is- who is assuring that the protection and guarantees given by Constitution, are getting implemented? Where do women go to, to seek redressal?

Here, I would like to speak about the issue of Women’s Reservation Bill. The representation of women in Parliament, is caught in the prism of time, for almost 22 years. Inspite of the efforts of women, male politicians have usurped the control of the political system. This is not their entitlement, rather an aggression to not let women share politicial power.

Globally, India is presented as the democratic values are not just practiced in political arena, but also as a way of life. But when you look internally, women are discriminated against, and deprived of access to political power. This is in addition to the huge amount of physical, sexual, mental violence and harassment faced by them, within the family, community and public spaces.

Sometimes, I wonder what is it about the male mind which is willing to embrace all changes in various arenas of technology, and adopt all modernities, but when it comes to gender equality, they are not receptive to its notions.