March 9, 2010

Is Reservation the way to Women's Empowerment, Equity?

This Womens' Reservation Bill in the Indian Parliament may get passed in this current Budget session of the Parliament. I am taking no guesses on which way it will go, but, as a woman myself, I am not kicked by this bill. I am a strong votary against reservations anywhere, be it for communities based on caste, religion, gender. My personal view is that reservations serves no purpose it professes to achieve, i.e., Equity.

I am surprised there are many subscribers to this Bill. In my opinion, this Bill is as bad as the Mandal Commission recommending reservations for people based on religion, caste, etc.. Our recent past history shows that reservations have not benefitted the marginalised sections as was expected. Infact, if Dr. Ambedkar were alive today, I am sure he might have rewritten this part of the Constitution. I find it amusing to see many people who were against the Mandal Report, but support the Women's Reservation Bill:-)

Please don't get me wrong, I don't belong to any political party and have no axe to grind. But, if our policy makers were really serious about reducing the discrimination, and bringing gender equity, reservations are surely not the answer. Actually, it may boomerang. This may further anger the male mind set and create hatred where there was none. Gender equity, in my opinion, happens through education. Oh yes, one may argue that in very developed countries with high literacy levels, gender discrimination still continues!!

Yes, we do live in a largely male dominated society, no denying that. But I am positive that Reservations are definitely not the way! Through sustained education at all levels and sheer womens' accomplishments across the world, will automatically make the men sit up and acknowledge when its due. That, in my personal view is true Women Empowerment. As a woman, I would rather my man compliment me for my accomplishments on merit, than by reservations.

Yes, there are harassed women in rural countryside who are discriminated even today, in the most barbric way. Will this bill change the life of such women? My simple answer is No. Most often, the "harassed women" are oppressed by their husbands with active participation of the mother-in-law. Is the mother-in-law not a woman? 

1 comment:

Raji said...

I am so happy there are many more people who feel just the same way as i do on this bill. Happenned to read Sagarika Ghose of IBN write on her blog on this subject. You can read it