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Low-income women demand passage of Women’s Reservation Bill

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016,17:29 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | A group of low-income women like widows, divorced and others gathered in the national capital today demanding the Women’s Reservation Bill be passed in Parliament session to give women a stronger political voice.

Over 130 women from 14 states under the banner of National Forum for Single Women’s Rights — a platform formed by low-income single women like widows, divorced, women with missing husbands and those who never married — discussed strategies on future action to ensure that all single women are able to live with dignity.

Widows, separated, divorced and older never married women number over five crores (5,07,09,941) in the country, they claimed.

“In India, matters related to marriage continue to be governed by communities and families. Many couples do not go to courts to seek divorce or separation; rather community members or family elders take decisions regarding the break-down of marriage.

“In many cases women are simply abandoned, thrown out, deserted by their husbands. Women in such situations often have to survive in a hostile social and familial environment and have children to support. They continue to be invisible to the government and do not have any special schemes or policies that they can avail,” Lali Dhakad, the forum’s Secretary said.

“Single Women continue to strive individually and collectively to change their lives and the society that they live in.

“Today we have decided to come together to push for the women’s Reservation Bill, which provides for one-third of the seats in national and state assemblies to be reserved for women as they have the power to become one of the most empowering laws for women in India,” Nirmal Chandel, Convener of the National Forum for Single Women’s Rights said.

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