Affirming his commitment to women's empowerment, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the Government is moving towards providing one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures.
Inaugurating the women's leadership summit here, he said Government is committed to social, economic and political empowerment of women, whatever effort and resources the task might take.
The Women's Reservation Bill providing for 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies is expected to come up in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. Observing that reservation for women in local bodies has revolutionised governance at the grass-roots level, he said, "We hope to give this movement of political participation of women further fillip by increasing the number of seats reserved in Panchayats and city and town governments to 50 per cent. "More significantly we are moving towards providing one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures," the Prime Minister said. He decried the low female literacy rate as well as the maternal mortality rate besides the exceptionally low sex-ratio.
"The gender disparity on the economic front is reflected in the low female work participation rate of 25.7 per cent as compared to 51.0 per cent for males," he said. "While we have shown improvement in these indicators over the years, the progress has been much slower than what we would have liked," he said at the summit attended by eminent women personalities and representatives from different walks of life. PTI