Shri S. S. Beriwala, President, Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce, congratulated the UPA Government for placing the historic Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on 09 March 2010. He hoped that the 14 years’ long journey of the Women’s Reservation Bill will come to a happy end shortly. He expressed his concern over the sharp differences among some political parties over such an important Bill empowering around half the population in the country.
Shri Beriwala hopes that the arduous journey of the Bill will soon be completed allowing 33 p.c. of the seats in the Parliament and the State Legislatures to be reserved for women. He felt that the Bill will create a more conducive environment for empowering women and ensure gender equality. He mentioned that although India had a capable woman Prime Minister for about 17 years and the country is currently being headed by a woman President and the Indian Parliament is crowned with a woman Speaker, yet the social norms in India are still strongly in favour of men. Therefore, the reservation for women is expected to create an equal opportunity for both men and women. This will also enhance the participation of women in planning and development process through reservations in legislative institutions.