Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to the CMs of all States and Union Territories seeking support to pass the proposed Women’s Reservation Bill.
In the letter, Patnaik wrote: “I am glad to state that recently, the Odisha Legislative Assembly has adopted a unanimous Resolution to provide for one-third reservation of women in Parliament as well as the State Legislatures.
Empowerment of women is the empowerment of the Nation. No household, no society, no State, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in our constitution.
The country will move forward with much greater momentum only if the other half of our population, our mothers, sisters and daughters, have a role in the highest decision making bodies of our States and our country.
In this context, I have already written a letter to Hon’ble Prime Minister for taking leadership in passing the Bill for reservation of one third of seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for women. Your support will further strengthen the cause of giving women their rightful place in our society.”
Patnaik also mentioned that Odisha is a pioneering State so far as empowerment of women is concerned. In the early 1990s, the legendary leader Biju Patnaik, for first time in the country, brought women to the realm of political decision making by reserving one-third of all seats in Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies for them. Besides, he had also implemented equal wages for both men and women to ensure gender equality and dignity of labour.
In 2011, Government of Odisha enhanced the reservation for women in Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies to 50 percent. This decision has empowered the women of Odisha and has encouraged them to join the mainstream of the development process, the letter further stated.