At the International Women’s Day event on Monday, the Bihar Legislative Assembly saw women in the legislature cross the party lines and raise their demand for a 33 percent increase in participation in the State Parliament and in Lok Sabha.
Bihar was the first state to offer a quote of 50 percent for women in panchayats. Some women members say it is time for the government to allow a 50 percent share of women in law enforcement agencies to add meaning to the social justice system.
A women’s booking bill has been pending in Parliament for almost a year and a half.
As soon as the House convened, Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha congratulated the women of the legislature and spoke of the tremendous progress made by women in various fields. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary suggested that women be given a great opportunity to ask questions and treat the second term on women’s day as a mark of respect. He said the kind of work done by the Bihar government to empower women is a role model not only nationally but also internationally.
When a woman in the legislature was added to the list of officials who were not present at the time, the highest member of the House, Gayatri Devi, was asked to preside over the second term. Although several women legislators were not in the House, all their questions were taken first in turn and most of the questions were directed to the home affairs department.
Women’s lawmakers have also taken the lead in both the treasury and the opposition parties to take part in a heated debate. All the teams gave them a chance. While the treasury bench praised the country’s government’s success in allocating 50 per cent to panchayat and teacher employment and 35 per cent in government jobs, the Opposition opposed the issue of women’s safety and corruption. Women in the legislature say women need to find the equality they deserve and should not be lost in the perfect image.
While RJD women activists praised the Bihar government’s action of 50 percent on panchayat bodies, some pointed out that there were only two women in the Nitish cabinet – one from JD-U and BJP – and reminded that it was RJD that gave Bihar the first woman of CM as Rabri Devi.
In the current Vidhan Sabha, the number of women legislators has dropped to 26 (10.2%) from 28 (11%) for the last time. In 2010, the number of women legislators was 34 (14 percent), the highest figure in the last seven decades. The perplexing situation is that in the last election in Vidhan Sabha, there has been a decline despite the growing popularity of women’s power, their greater participation at the panchayat level and the higher voter turnout in the election than men.
Congressman Neetu Kumari has lashed out at the government for the lack of facilities such as toilets in public places, bus stops, markets and office blocks. “I urge the government not only to look into this matter but to use it. This will be a gift for all women, ”she added.
Rural Development Minister Shravan Kumar, when the government responded to his department’s budget, which was approved by Parliament, accepted the request and said the government would build toilets in public places as many women wanted.
She also added saying that the Nitish government is committed to the empowerment of women and the many strategies and programs of women in this regard are a testament to this. Even during the Covid-19 epidemic, Jeevika Didis made a mask for people and now they will also make school uniforms for children to make their financial implications a reality. She also said that women have played a significant role in the management of facilities and economic activities as a result of the efforts of the Nitish government.