NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptuallh on Wednesday said the Lok Sabha should pass the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and States Legislative Assemblies.
“Earlier I was not in favour of reservation, but then I saw they [women] have no voice. There has to be a level playing field for women. Rajya Sabha has passed it and now it is the turn of Lok Sabha to pass it too,” she said speaking at a function where she released a report on the the status of girl child in India– the ’World of India’s Girls (WINGS) 2014’’.
Referring to the steps being taken by her Ministry for empowerment of women and girls, she said, 33 per cent of all scholarships provided by the Minority Affairs Ministry have now been compulsorily reserved for women.
Commenting on the findings of the report she said: “The report points out the rising aspirations of the girls to be full citizens and their desire to have greater control over their lives beyond the defined roles of wife and mothers – and our government is committed to the realisation of these aspirations.”
The report gathers evidence of gender-based discrimination that starts even before birth in the form of female foeticide and how it impacts a woman throughout her life.
Examining how girls have fared on access to healthcare; nutrition; water and sanitation facilities; education and safe spaces and protection from abuse, the report recommendations a National Policy for the Girl Child.
“The census of 2011 shows that overall there are 38 million missing women. The boy-girl divide over the last few decades has widened to such an extent that today, in the age group of 0-6 years, there are 7.1 million fewer girls than boys as against 4.2 million in 1991,”the report says citing data collated from Census 2011.