Govt approves 50 per cent reservation for women in urban local bodies

      The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for amending the Constitution to increase the women reservation in urban local bodies from one third to 50 percent. This provision will apply to (i) the total number of seats to be filled by direct election, (ii) offices of Chairpersons and (iii) seats and offices of the Chairpersons reserved for SCs and STs. Increased representation of women is likely to yield significant benefits in terms of higher priority to women's issues in critical areas of urban Governance and service delivery such as water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, education and health etc. The President of India in her address to the Parliament on 4.6.09 stated that the Government will initiate steps for Constitutional Amendment to provide fifty percent reservation for women in Urban Local Bodies as women suffer multiple deprivations of class, caste and gender and enhancing reservation in Urban Local Bodies will lead to more women entering the public sphere. Ministry of Urban Development will move a Bill for amendment to Article 243 T of the Constitution in the next session of Parliament after approval of the Cabinet. Enhancement of reservation for women in Urban Local Bodies will not only ensure their increased representation and participation at grassroots levels in various Urban Local Bodies but also mainstream gender concerns in governance and decision making process.

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