- Government introduced the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2023, Formally known as Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, to bring in 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and all state Legislative Assemblies.
- To increase the representation of women in legislatures
- This will include reserving one-third of the seats kept for SC/STs, and “as nearly as possible”, one-third of the total seats in the general category.
- The seats will be reserved after the completion of the delimitation exercise based on the first Census conducted after the passage of the Bill. It mandates women’s reservation for 15 years from the commencement of the Act, with Parliament empowered to extend it further.
- Rotation of seats reserved for women will happen only after each subsequent delimitation exercise, to be determined by Parliament by law, as per the Bill.
- It will take the number of women MPs in the Lok Sabha, as per its present strength of 543, to 181. The current House has 82 women MPs.
Amendments in Constitution:
- The Bill, which seeks to insert clause (1) in Article 330 A to reserve seats for women, says by another clause that one-third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha be reserved for women from these categories, and a third clause on keeping aside, as nearly as possible, one-third of the total seats filled by direct election to the Lok Sabha for women.
- The Bill seeks to amend Article 332 A to mandate women’s reservation in Legislative Assemblies, plus other amendments in the Article to keep one-third of SC/ST seats for women in the category, and, 33% of all seats – as nearly as possible – filled by direct election for women.
- The Bill seeks to insert in Clause 2 of Article 239 AA, after sub-clause (b), the following clauses: “(ba) Seats shall be reserved for women in the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi”, and (bb), which says that one-third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs in the Delhi Assembly shall be reserved for women.