President Draupadi Murmu has given his assent to the Women's Reservation Bill on 28 September 2023, which will now be officially known as the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act. This Constitution Amendment Bill was passed almost unanimously by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
- Under this Constitution (106th Amendment) Act, there is a provision to provide 33 percent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
- According to its provision, "It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, determine."
- During a special session of Parliament earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described the law as the "Nari Shakti Vandan Act".
When will the provisions of the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act come into force?
- The law will take some time to be implemented because the next census and the subsequent delimitation process – redrawing of Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies – will find out the special seats to be earmarked for women.
- According to the provisions of this Act, the quota for women in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies will continue for 15 years and the Parliament can subsequently extend the period of benefit.
- Whereas there is a quota for women belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST).
The bill that was stuck for 27 years finally became an Act:
- Since 1996, several attempts have been made to pass the bill in Parliament. The last time such an attempt was made was in 2010, when the Rajya Sabha passed a bill for women's reservation, but it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha.
The number of women MPs in the Lok Sabha is around 15 per cent, while their representation in many state assemblies is less than 10 per cent.