A women's collective, comprising more than 1,600 organisations, today pitched for the passage of the "long pending" Women's Reservation Bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament which commences on July 17.
With the slogan "Ab 33 per cent nahi 50 per cent", the National Alliance for Women's Reservation Bill has demanded 50 per cent reservation for women in the the Lok Sabha and state assemblies instead of 33 per cent.
"The Prime Minister had congratulated African countries for women's majority in their parliament. But when it came to his country, he never said a single word about this Bill," general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, Annie Raja, said.
"This is the time to act so that women are able to contest maximum number of seats in the next election," she said.
In India, women hold a mere 12 per cent of the seats in Parliament and nine per cent in state assemblies, Director of Centre for Social Research, Ranjana Kumari, said.
"Unless there are more women in politics, their concerns cannot be addressed effectively," she said.
Director of the Joint Women's Programme, Jyotsna Chatterjee, said that the BJP had "committed" support to the women's reservation bill in its 2014 election manifesto, and now it was time for the party to stand by it.
"It is high time to prove what they had declared in their election manifesto. The government says 'beti bachao beti padhao', but what about her political rights," she said.