Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha members today voiced concern over incidents of crime against women and made a strong case for early passage of the bill to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament as well as in state assemblies.
The House, which has been witnessing disruptions in the morning session since Monday, today seemingly spoke in one voice to celebrate the International Women's Day.
As soon as the members assembled to take up today's business, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made a reference to the International Women's Day, which is observed all over the world to celebrate the achievements of women as well as to renew commitment to empowering them and ending gender biases.
"With women constituting about 50 per cent of our population, social, economic and political empowerment of women, including providing reservation in Parliament and state legislatures, has to be accorded top priority for the country to achieve rapid progress," Naidu said at the outset.
He stressed on the need to renew focus on gender equality and safety of women, besides efforts to educate and empower them.
The women reservation bill has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha and is pending approval of the lower house, the Lok Sabha.
After Naidu's remarks, women MPs from different parties spoke on the issue and pressed for early passage of the reservation bill.
"The government, together with the opposition, should create an atmosphere to ensure the safety of women," he said, and agreed with others on early passage of reservation legislation.
Although women have excelled in many field and entered areas dominated by men, she said, "Women still continue to face injustice, which is shameful".
She called for a mass-movement to change the mindset of people towards women.
Naidu also agreed with the suggestion by some members to have a woman member in the vice-chairman panel.
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