Bhubaneswar, Dec 4
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik to take the leadership in initiating necessary steps for passing the Bill for reservation of one third of the seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for women.
In a letter to the Prime Minister he assured full support of his Government in providing women their rightful place in the decision making process.
He said 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,” he said adding, “He had also implemented equal wages for both men and women to ensure gender equality and dignity of labour.”
Patnaik wrote, in 2011 the Odisha Government enhanced the reservation for women in Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies to 50 per cent.
“This decision has empowered the women of Odisha and has encouraged them to join the mainstream of development process,” he asserted.
Patnaik, attaching a copy of the resolution of State Assembly on the issue, said the State Legislative Assembly recently 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,” he said and added, “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.”
He 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 150th Birth Anniversary,” the Chief Minister said.