For uplifting any society or country, apart from economic liberty, we have to ensure a legitimate power and that power comes only from the state. This is because the state has the ultimate power and is the only legitimate authority in any boundary. For centuries, politics is best known as a male-dominated space. In order to enhance women’s position, reservation will become one of the key of women’s voices in political space.
Reservation of women seats in political bodies has been categorized as a tool of women empowerment and proper representation in politics. The most important tool to bring women in equal position is to provide them with equity through correct form of representation so that women can have a sense of power and strong position in this patriarchal structures of society.
Women reservation bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 1996 and that bill has still not become a law. The bill managed to pass Rajya Sabha in 2010 but the struggle is still going on to pass this bill in the Lok Sabha. If we look at the debate against this bill, we realize that the arguments given are a result of the apprehensions of patriarchy. After decrypting every discourse which is against the bill, the only picture that appears is the hollow sense of power of patriarchy.
But if we discuss the reasons very carefully, then we get to know that how the criticism of women reservation bill is strategically designed. In 2014, out of 543 members, there were only 62 women in the parliament. (Dantewadia, 2019)
Our constitution gives us a belief of gender justice and social justice but in the given situation we are witnessing a huge injustice towards women. There are various reasons as to why women are restricted to enter in politics including cultural, economic, physical and social ones and so on.
However, one of the major grounds on which women’s entry into politics is restricted is the absence of an imaginary qualification and experience which men who are in power continuously brag about.
Not just this, women who are already in power are mocked because of their qualifications. The argument given against the bill is that women are not qualified enough to handle such authority. They presume that women don’t have the required wisdom to take decisions.
If we talk about Rabri Devi, she has been mocked by everyone just because she decided to be a politician and enter the political circuit. She was mocked at not only by the opposition but even by her own party members.
Even today, she is used as an example for an illiterate or uneducated person. If we dig deep into this argument, we realize it stands on irrational grounds.
As we all know, historically, there have been a number of male politicians who were uneducated but they have successfully held a powerful position and are better known for their work instead of their educational qualifications.
One thing which is more intriguing is that there is no criteria or minimum educational qualification that is required to enter in politics. The question is whether this privilege is only for men ? Why do women face such extreme criticism or trolls for their educational background?
If we really want women empowerment, then it is necessary to increase women’s representation in politics. In countries like Germany, Pakistan, Nepal ,Bangladesh seats have been reserved for women in parliament. However, the number of women in politics has increased in India after 73rd and 74th amendment but these changes need to be done at the national level.
After the above mentioned amendments, women got a voice and the women of the country witnessed a sense of autonomy. (Handa, 2019)
According to the Election Commission of India, from 1957 to 2019, in the Lok Sabha elections the success rate of women is higher than men. It’s widely known and accepted that women literacy is less in our country compared to that of men. So, if education becomes a ground to participate in politics, then ultimately women will be sidelined from this field.
Until and unless women are not a part of the policy making process, they cannot raise their voice for fellow women. This would result in a vicious cycle with this debate continuing for centuries. So, this is high time to finish this visible and unsaid inequality. Democracy cannot live a long life in an unequal society.