Women’s Reservation Bill for Gender Equality 2023

women's reservation bill


The Women’s Reservation Bill 2023 (128th Constitutional Amendment Bill), also known as Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, was recently passed by both the Lok Sabha (LS) and the Rajya Sabha (RS). A third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies will be set aside for women under the proposed legislation.

Why Women’s Reservation Bill is Needed?

  • In Lok Sabha, there are 82 female MPs (15.2%), while in Rajya Sabha, there are 31 female MPs (13%).
  • The top three nations in terms of female representation are Rwanda (61%), Cuba (53%), and Nicaragua (52%), according to latest data from UN Women. India falls behind Bangladesh (21%) and Pakistan (20%) in terms of the participation of women.

What is the Background of Women’s Reservation Bill?

  • The debate over reservations for women in politics first emerged during the Indian national movement in 1931.
  • Since 1996, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the former prime minister, the bill for the reservation of women has been a topic of discussion.
  • The Bill couldn’t have passed since the then-Government lacked a majority.
  • An Early Attempt to Reserve Seats for Women:
    • 1996: The first women’s reservation bill was presented to the parliament.
    • 1998 – 2003: Four times the government tried to introduce the bill but failed.
    • 2009: Amid protests, the government tables the bill.
    • 2010: The Bill is approved by both the Rajya Sabha and the Union Cabinet.
    • 2014: In Lok Sabha, the Bill was scheduled to be introduced.

What are the Features of Women’s Reservation Bill?

  • Reservation for Women: The Bill proposed adding Article 330A to the Constitution, which takes shape from Article 330, which establishes the Lok Sabha’s provision for the reserving of seats for SCs and STs and as closely as possible, one-third of all seats for women.
  • Commencement of Reservation (New article – 334A): After the census taken after the passage of this Bill has been published, the reservation will go into force. Delimitation will be done in order to reserve seats for women based on the census. The reservation will be available for 15 years.
  • Rotation of seats: After each boundary, the seats designated for women shall be rotated in accordance with a statute passed by Parliament.

Also Read: Role of Women in the Workplace in 2023

What Arguments for Women’s Reservation Bill?

  • Gender Equality: A crucial step toward achieving gender equality is the representation of women in politics. India, however, comes up at 48th place out of 146 countries in terms of political empowerment, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022.
  • Empowerment of Women: The lack of representation for women in politics strengthens them in numerous ways. It stimulates women to assume leadership positions in many fields in addition to encouraging more women to get involved in politics.
  • Promotion of Women’s Issues: Women in politics frequently put women’s concerns first and speak up for them, such as issues of gender-based violence, women’s health, education, and economic empowerment. They may influence how these concerns are prioritized in policy deliberations.
  • Role Models: Young girls can look forward to female political leaders as role models and be inspired to pursue leadership roles in a variety of professions. Political representation may dispel misconceptions and motivate future generations.
    • From 1966 through 1977, Indira Gandhi was India’s first and only female prime minister.
    • After Indira Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj served as India’s second female minister of external affairs.

What Arguments against Women’s Reservation Bill?

  • Women do not form an integrated community like, say, a caste. The same justifications for caste-based reservations cannot, however, be used for women.
  • Some people oppose reserving seats for women, arguing that doing so breaches the Constitution’s promise of equality. They contend that if there is a reserve, women won’t be competing on merit, which would lower their social position.

What Challenges Faced During Implementing Women’s Reservation Bill?

  • Issues related to Delimitation
    • The reserve won’t take effect until after delimitation, which won’t happen until the pertinent data from the next census are made public.
    • There is no set date for the next census. The delimitation is therefore doubly uncertain.
  • OBC Issue with the bill
    • A quota for women from the OBC is not included in the women’s reservation law, which allocates 33% of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures.
    • The Geeta Mukherjee Committee (1996) advocated granting OBCs access to the women’s reservation.


Women’s Reservation Bill 2023 marks a significant step towards achieving gender equality and empowering women in Indian politics. With the low representation of women in Parliament, this legislation addresses a pressing need. It also provides a platform for women to advocate for important issues and serves as a source of inspiration for future generations. However, there are concerns about its implementation, particularly related to delimitation and the inclusion of OBC women. Nevertheless, it represents progress towards a more inclusive and equitable political landscape in India.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

  1. What is the concept of Women’s Reservation Bill?

    There is no OBC quota in the women’s reservation law, which reserves 33% of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures for women. Extension of the women’s reservation to OBCs was advised by the Geeta Mukherjee Committee in 1996.

  2. What is Women’s Reservation Bill 2023?

    According to the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, also known as the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2023, a third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies are intended to be reserved for women.

  3. When was the first Women’s Reservation Bill?

    On September 12, 1996, the government of HD Deve Gowda introduced the Constitution (81st Amendment) Bill, 1996, in the 11th Lok Sabha for the first time.

  4. Why is Women’s Reservation Bill important?

    The bill also arrives at a time when Indian women are more politically active than ever before, making up over half of the country’s 950 million registered voters—a figure that has grown with each election over the past 20 years. And research has revealed that women typically vote differently than males.


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