In the current Lok Sabha, 78 women members were elected, which is less than 543 per cent of the total strength of 15.

New Delhi:

With a fresh push for introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill, which has been pending for nearly 27 years, data shows that the number of women MPs in the Lok Sabha is less than 15 per cent, while their representation in many state assemblies is less than 10 per cent. The last concrete development on the issue was in 2010, when the Rajya Sabha passed the bill amid uproar. Marshall had ousted some lawmakers who opposed the move to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. However, the bill could not be passed by the Lok Sabha and got stuck.

The BJP and the Congress have always supported the bill, but opposition from other parties and some demands for reservation for backward classes within the women's quota could not lead to a consensus on the bill. On Sunday, several parties made a strong pitch for bringing and passing the Women's Reservation Bill in the five-day Parliament session beginning Monday, but the government said an "appropriate decision will be taken at the right time".

In the current Lok Sabha, 78 women members were elected, which is less than 543 per cent of the total strength of 15.

Women's representation in the Rajya Sabha too is around 14 per cent, according to data shared by the government with Parliament last December.

In many state assemblies, including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Puducherry, women's representation is less than 10 per cent.

Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi had 2022-10 per cent women MLAs, according to government data for December 12.

Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand lead the list with 14.44 per cent, 13.7 per cent and 12.35 per cent women MLAs, respectively.

Over the past few weeks, several parties, including the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), have demanded the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill, while the Congress also passed a resolution in this regard at its working committee meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday.

However, it will be interesting to see what percentage of reservation can be proposed in the new bill as the 2008 bill, which lapsed in 2010 after it was not passed in the Lok Sabha, had proposed to reserve one-third of all seats in the Lok Sabha and each state assembly for women.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power when the last attempt was made to pass the bill.

According to an article available on PRS Legislative, it also proposed within-quota quotas for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Anglo-Indians, while reserved seats were to be changed on a cyclical basis after each general election. This meant that after a cycle of three elections, all constituencies would have once come under the reserved category. This reservation was to be applicable for 15 years.

Before the failed 2008-2010 attempt, a similar bill was introduced in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

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(Apart from the headline, this news has not been edited by the NDTV team, it has been published directly from the Syndicate feed.) )