Geneva [Switzerland]: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk has welcomed the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in India, which will reserve one-third of seats in the country's Parliament and state assemblies for women.
This historic measure would constitutionally enshrine women's representation in parliament and will be a game-changing step in defending women's right to participation and gender equality in India. It was passed by both Houses of Parliament.
According to the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, the UN High Commissioner called on parliamentarians around the world to adopt legislative measures – including, where necessary, gender quotas – in order to ensure women’s voices at the centre of their nations’ political discourse, in full parity with others.
The Bill requires ratification by at least 50 per cent of the states, and we call for their swift support.
The High Commissioner calls on the Government to implement the new system as soon as possible, alongside the existing reservation for ‘scheduled castes’ and ‘scheduled Tribes’.
"We stress the importance of fostering an enabling environment for the participation of women from all backgrounds in public life – which can have profound, positive implications for society as a whole," the official release read.
This is an important step towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as India’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. (ANI)