New Delhi, Nov 9 : With women's empowerment and strengthening of country's parliamentary democracy at the grassroot level high on its legislative agenda, the Union government is to have four constitutional amendments in the ongoing Parliament session to achieve the twin objective.
While one seeks to ensure the much-awaited one-third reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, two are for enhancing quota for women from existing 33 per cent to 50 per cent of the total seats of panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies, according to agenda papers.
Of the five constitutional amendment bills, lined up for passage in the winter session, the fourth one is aimed at providing autonomy to cooperative societies and strengthening democratic norms in their functioning.
Though the fifth constitutional amendment bill is for changing the spelling of the "Oriya" language to "Odia" in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, the government will be seeking enactment of another law to provide women security in workplace and prevent their sexual exploitation.
Reacting to the line-up of the constitutional amendment bills, former Lok Sabha Secretary-General S C Kashyap told PTI, "On the face of it, these bills together would surely enhance women empowerment and spread parliamentary democracy to grassroots level."But much will also depend upon how these laws are implemented after their enactment," said Kashyap, adding a note of caution.
The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2010, seeking to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in Parliament and legislative assemblies, has already been passed by Rajya Sabha during on March 9 amid stiff opposition by Samajwadi Party, Rastriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (U).
The bill, seeking to reserve 181 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats and 1,370 out of a total of 4,109 seats in 28 state assemblies for women, is slated to be taken up for consideration and passage by the Lok Sabha in the current session.PTI