Friday, March 19, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Women village leaders want quota within quota

Women village leaders want quota within quota

2010-03-19 19:00:00

Around 60 women village leaders Friday hailed the passing of the
women's reservation bill in the Rajya Sabha but demanded a quota for
Dalits and other backward classes (OBCs) for their proper

At a conclave organised here by international NGO ActionAid, the
women, representing village councils in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa,
West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, urged political parties to
take note of the discrimination against women within the backward

They held that the 50 percent reservation of seats in panchayati raj
institutions for women and the quotas for Dalit women from lower
castes had proved beneficial.

Speaking about her experience as the head of the Jamlapur village in
Uttar Pradesh, Sarvati Devi said: 'Being a woman from a Dalit
community proved a great challenge for me. Finding support in the
panchayat was very tough. But I did not give up and now they respect
me and my community.'

Sunita Devi, who was elected the Phulwari Sharif village head in Bihar
in 2006 on an OBC reserved seat agreed.

'I got elected from an OBC reserved seat for women. Now, women in my
village don't look at the caste barrier before discussing their
problems, all thanks to the reservation that will also help on the
national platform,' she said.

The women's reservation bill, in the form of an amendment to the
constitution, would secure 33 percent reservation for women in the Lok
Sabha as well as the state legislatures. It was passed in the Rajya
Sabha last week amid angry protests from a few political parties that
also want a sub-quota for Dalits and OBCs.

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