All parties should clear the Women’s Reservation Bill respectfully: Sumitra Mahajan

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sunday appealed to all political parties to come together for passing in a “respectful” manner the bill for giving 33% reservation to women in Parliament and state legislature.

“It should be given respectfully… There should not be the case that someone is tearing papers and someone is raising slogans against it. This should not be done. All parties should come together and clear the Women’s Reservation Bill in a respectful manner,” she said in a reply to a question on the Women’s Reservation Bill.

“Please do not consider women weak. They are as capable and as intelligent as men are. But it is important that they get opportunities. So for that, reservation is required for them,” Mahajan, an eight-time MP, said on sidelines of the South-Asia Speakers Summit in Indore.

In the valedictory session of the summit, she said: “Women have a right to live with dignity and equality. They must have equal access to education, economic resources and employment.” The goal of sustainable development will not be achieved if women are denied equality, opportunity and dignity.

The Bill was first introduced by the Deve Gowda government in 1996 and was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010. Since then, it is pending in the Lok Sabha.

A number of parliamentarians over the years have opposed the passing of the Bill for various reasons.