Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday advocated the passage of the contentious women's reservation bill, to improve women's participation in parliament and the state assemblies.
The bill proposes 33% seats for women in parliament and state legislatures.
“Reservation for women is needed to increase their representation in parliament,” said Ramesh adding, “while percentage of women in Pakistan's parliament is 18 percent, in Bangladesh it is over 20%.”
Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) have been successful in this empowerment, Ramesh stated at the release of the UN Human Development Report 2011.
The women's reservation bill is pending in the Lok Sabha following opposition from parties like Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal, Sharad Yadav-led Janata Dal-United and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which want reservation for women from backward, dalit and minority communities within the 33 percent quota.