Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate necessary steps for passing the bill to provide one-third reservation to women in parliament as well as the state legislatures.
In a letter to PM Modi, Patnaik said, “Recently, the Odisha Assembly has adopted a unanimous resolution to provide one-third reservation of women in parliament as well as the state legislatures.”
“Odisha is a pioneering state so far as empowerment of women is concerned. In the early 1990s, the legendary leader Biju Patnaik, for the 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,” Naveen wrote.
“Besides, Biju Babu had also implemented equal wages for both men and women to ensure gender equality and dignity of labour,”Naveen added.
The CM further said that in 2011, Odisha enhanced the reservation for women in panchayats and Urban Local Bodies to 50 percent. This decision has empowered the women of and has encouraged them to join the mainstream of the development process.
He said 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, sister and daughters have a role in the highest decision making bodies of our states and our county,” Naveen stated in the letter.
“I assure full support of my government in providing women their rightful place in the decision-making process,” Naveen said.
“Mahatma Gandhi always spoke of gender equality and empowerment of women in society. Taking a historic decision to empower women in our country would be the finest tribute to the Father of the Nation on his 150 Birth Anniversary,” he added.