A day after the House passed the Triple Talaq bill, which the government said would empower Muslim women, MPs from the CPI(M) demanded on Friday that the government should come up with a Women’s Reservation Bill immediately if it really wanted to ensure gender justice.
The CPI(M) members were in the well of the House, holding placards which said “Protect women without any gender discrimination”, and “Pass the long pending Women’s Reservation Bill”. Raising the matter, CPI(M) leader P K Sreemathy blamed the “lackadaisical attitude” of the government for the delay in bringing the women’s quota Bill. “We would like to point out that the BJP had made a solemn promise to the women of this country in their election manifesto, expressing their commitment to the passage of this Bill… Though public statements of noble intentions for empowerment of women and girls have been made by the ministers and the party leadership quite frequently over the years, this has not been translated into action with regard to the women’s Bill,” the MP said, adding that women’s presence in the Lok Sabha is merely 11.7 per cent, while it is 11.4 per cent in the Rajya Sabha.
MPs belonging to the Congress, BJD, TRS, NCP and RSP also supported Sreemathy.
Sreemathy also mentioned the “Women’s Wall” in Kerala — women will form a line from the northern Kasaragod district to Thiruvananthapuram in the south on January 1 to demonstrate the secular mindset of the people in the state. “It is for raising slogans for women’s rights, gender equality and to rise above caste and communal feelings,” Sreemathy said. The Women’s Wall is an initiative by the CPI(M)-led state government to mobilise support for its stand on implementing the Supreme Court’s verdict lifting the ban on the entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala shrine.
Meanwhile, Congress MP from Manipur, Thokchom Meinya, said during the zero hour that he had posed a question to the Home Ministry several times on whether the erstwhile Manipur State was merged with the Union of India under the Merger Agreement, 1949, and if the Merger Agreement was rejected by the then Manipur State. However, he said, he received a reply on December 18 saying the information was being collected. He appealed to the government to come with a proper reply during the ongoing session.