DMK MP for quota for women in govt jobs

Dismayed at low representation of women in country’s workforce, a DMK MP in Rajya Sabha is pitching for a 30 per cent quota for the fairer sex in government jobs.

Tiruchi Siva, the MP from Tamil Nadu, has moved Women’s (Reservation in Workplace) Bill in the Upper House on Friday for 30 per cent reservation for women in jobs and promotions in establishments owned, controlled, managed or financed by the central and state governments.

The move comes at a time women constitute only 10.93 per cent or 3.37 lakh of the 30.87 lakh central government workforce. Women account for 48.5 per cent or 58.74 crore out of 1.21 crore population, according to the Census 2011.

The situation is very grim in police forces across the country as women count only for 6.44 per cent and in paramilitary a paltry 2.28 per cent though government has announced it is taking measures to have 33 per cent women in forces. The Public Sector Banks are among the very few exceptions where 24 per cent of the employees are women.

“Women in many parts of the country are kept away from active participation in the workplace. The Bill aims to ensure that women find a respectful position in the society by bringing an end to the discrimination meted out to them,” according to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.

The bill notes that the promise of equal opportunity for women have lingered as a “mere promise” since independence and women are deprived of employment opportunities however much they are qualified and deserving.

“The reason why I brought this bill is because it is high time that the women community is unshackled from their discriminatory status in the society,” Siva said.

The Bill expects the private sector may “voluntarily” decide to provide equal employment opportunities to women and Centre could take steps to incentivize private sector.

Though the number of women in government sector has increased over years, activists complain that the growth is slow and they face discrimination at the time of promotions too.

According to Census figures, 67,369 women (2.51%) were in central government services out of 26.99 lakh employees in 1971. The number rose to 2.91 lakh (7.53%) in 2001 and 3.11 lakh (10.04%) in 2009.

“The proportion of women employees has been steadily increased till 2006 and thereafter remained static as it stood around 11% in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011,” the Census 2011 report said.

(Nov 19, 2016)

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