Dr. Ambedkar’s Thoughts on Women’s Reservation for Establishing Gender Justice

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Abstract

The relevance of Dr. Ambedkar at present day India is due to the Inequalities rise in the status of women and men. Discriminatory in all sphere of Indian Society through its Traditions more equal than the Rule of Law. Dr. Ambedkar saw women as the victims of the oppressive, caste- based and rigid hierarchical social system. The issues of class, caste and gender in the contemporary socio-economic and political set up Gender Justice is Derailed in Indian Society. The focus of this study is on the situation of Women Education, Employability and Political Participation in India. Annual report of National Women’s Commission and SC/ST Commission which has enhanced the Gender Sensitization and increase of Women in Administrative jobs. Gender Justice was enacted through Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy in the Our Constitution. The Purpose of Hindu Code Bill which sought to confer on women the Right to property and Adoption. These are enabling rights to women, not granted previously in the domain of economy, which was to be conferred through legal means. Dr. Ambedkar’s quote “I measure the progress of the community by the degree of progress which women have achieved” describe him as Crusader of Equality, Humanist and Legal approach on establishing Gender Justice. Reservation for the betterment and upliftment of the weaker people of our society, Women are been into mainstream in the fields of Education, Politics and Media.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s slogan “Educate, Agitate and Organize”. Education is fruit-less without educating women, Agitation is incomplete without the empowering women and Organization is meaningless without Gender Justice. The present paper is an attempt to highlight Dr. Ambedkar's view on women problems in post independent India. Primary data and Secondary data collected from Constituent Assembly Debates, Government Reports, newspapers, published papers, Writings and speeches by Dr. Ambedkar.

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Introduction

The relevance of Dr. Ambedkar at the present day is due to the rise of Inequalities in all sphere of the Indian Society. Discriminatory through Traditions is more equal than the Rule of Law. The focus of this study is on the situation of women Education, Employability and Political participation in India. Dr. Ambedkar strongly believed in Women employment through Education develops her Self-confidence and employment gives her Self-Respect. Women in Political Arena could still enhance the development and would reach out larger section of Women in Rural and Urban areas.

Dr. Ambedkar’s State and Minorities published in 1945 which was written in 1940 for Schedule Caste Federation. In which he stated Equal Rights for all, not discriminating on any grounds. Fundamental Rights of citizens and Remedies against Invasion of Fundamental Rights were to protect the Rights of every individuals.

Political Reservation for Women

In Constituent Assembly Debates proceeding volume-9 dated 25/08/1949, On Political Reservation debate Dr. Ambedkar told “Muslim got Reservation in 1892, Christian in 1920, SC got in 1935 Act started in 1937 and ended in 1939 due to Second World War .ST still needs longer period not 10 years”. Now Political Reservation for SC/ST in Legislature for 10 years only. Dr. Ambedkar insists in extended timely with the approval of the Government of India. Constituent Assembly of India Debates on Women Reservation some Women representatives were against the idea of Women Reservation. Mrs. Renuka Ray argued “Impediment to our growth and an Insult to out very Intelligence and capacity”. It was the same opinion from Vijayalakshmi Pandit and Sarojini Naidu.

Mrs. Hansa Mehta “The Women’s organization to which I have the honor to belong has never asked for Reserved seats, for Quotas, or for separate Electorates. What we have asked for is Social Justice, Economic Justice and Political Justice”.

During 1950 Women in Assembly was of 5%with 15, now in 2019 Lok Sabha consists of 14% with 78 MP’s and Rajya Sabha 43 MP’s. Political Reservation for Women in Local Bodies enforced through 73rd and 74th Amendments in 1993. It provided for Women reservation of 1/3rd in Rural and Urban Local self Governments. Women Reservation bill for Lok Sabha and State Assembly was introduction 1996,1998,1999,2008 but never got majority consent and it is pending even today.Indra Sawhney v/s Union of India Court insists upon 30% Quota for Women in Government offices and Political Representation.

73rd and 74th Amendments, Article 243D (3) provides that not less than 1/3rd of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat to be reserved for women, and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat;

  • Article 243T (3) provides that not less than 1/3rd of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality;
  • Article 243T (4) provides reservation of offices of Chairperson in Municipalities for SC, ST, Women in such manner as the legislature of a State, may by law provide; In the words of Zoya Hasan:“ From being acclaimed as , revolution of the millions of deprived women, to being dubbed as the token biwi (wife) , beti (daughter) brigade, women’s bid to challenge political monopolies and enter formal political institutions has generated much discussion, interest and opposition”. Later on, provision of 50 % seats for women’s reservation has been materialized in local bodies across India by amending Article 243 (D) to the Indian Constitution. The Constitution (110th Amendment) Bill, 2009 and the Constitution (112th Amendment) Bill, 2009 to reserve half the seats in all rural and urban local bodies for women was first introduced in Parliament by UPA-II.

Women Participation in Government Services

Reservation in Governmental employment for the betterment and upliftment of Educational and socially deprived sections of people. India is ranked 108th out of 149 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index (released by the World Economic ­Forum in 2020). The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) Report 2018−19 the total number of female teachers is 69,655, hence the SC and ST female teachers represent 7.74% of the total female teachers. State Public Services Commission (SPSC) have given reservation to women in Bihar- 35%, Tamil Nadu -33%, Madhya Pradesh-33%, Gujarat-33% and also in Karnataka 33% govt jobs reserved for Women. Number of Women Joining Civil Services Is Less Than 25%, In Civil Services recruitment years 2013 to 2017, according to the Minister of Personnel Dr Jitendra Singh, maximum recruitment witnessed in 2017 with 24.05 per cent women joining the coveted government jobs. In the previous years, the percentage stood at 21.25, 22.96, 19.67 and 23.32 from 2013 to 2016 respectively. Out of the total 1,228 candidates finally recommended by the UPSC for the Civil Services in 2013, only 261 were women. In 2014, it was 313 out of 1,363 and in 2015, 229 out of 1,363. In the recruitment year 2016, it was 282 out of 1,209. Interestingly, three women had topped UPSC Civil Services Examinations in this period; Nandini KR, Tina Dabi and Ira Singhal had topped the 2016, 2015 and 2014 exams, respectively. The work participation rate indicates to a great extent the economic empowerment of women in the society. The status of women is intimately connected with their economic position, which in turn depends on opportunities for participation in economic activities. According 2011, Estimated women employment in major central government office are 3.37 lakh out of 48 lakh employees. In reply to another question, Minister of Personnel Jitendra Singh said there was no proposal under the consideration of providing 33% women reservation in Central Services by the Government. The percentage of women working in the Central Government is 7.53 per cent of which 24 per cent are in All India Civil Services, 18.5 per cent in Indian Police Service and 18 per cent in Indian Foreign Services.

Annual reports of National Commission for Women and Gender Justice

The National Commission for Women has been conducting gender sensitization workshops and programmes for police, administration and judicial officers across the country. These workshops/programmes seek to sensitize officials on gender related issues and empower them to perform their duties effectively, without prejudice and bias especially in cases of gender-based crimes. The National Commission for Women, in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and Delhi Police had started a project to empower women and also to help women survivors of violence in both public and private life. The project is now being replicated in 22 districts in 7 other States on pilot basis. These are Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. This will promote the support mechanism for women victims of domestic violence and create a systemic grievance redressal mechanism within the police/ criminal justice system. The National Commission for Women, in collaboration with the Bureau of Police, Research& Development (BPR&D), has been undertaking Capacity Building Programmes for women police officers who are entrusted with the responsibility of investigating crimes against women.

The Commission funded 29 research studies during the year 2017-18 on issues relevant to women so that they could participate in the socio-economic development of the country. A total of 165 research proposals had been received. Similarly, out of 968 proposals received for conducting seminars. The Commission has continued to organize capacity building programmes also gender sensitization programmes for Women students around 525 colleges. The Commission helped in resolving a large number of cases by following them up with the authorities concerned. 15381 complaints were registered during the year 2017-18. The Commission approved funding of 21 Organizations/researchers during the year 2018-19 on issues relevant to women received from various organization. Similarly, the Commission has funded 52 seminars during the Financial Year 2018-19 organized by various organizations. The Commission has organized a total number of 16 gender sensitization programmes for police officials during the year 2018-19. During this year, the Commission also initiated a competition for college and Universities students on laws related to women. Overall, 256 colleges/institutions were reimbursed towards conducting the programme during 2018-19. The Commission helped in resolving a large number of cases by following them up with the authorities concerned. 19279 complaints were registered during the year 2018-19. These do not include complaints that do not fall in the mandate of the Commission. The Commission has taken the issue of Gender Justice and Gender Sensitization through which Society can be made better for the Safety and Welfare of the women.

Conclusion

The writings and Speeches of Dr. Ambedkar show what values India should develop and how they would modernize its social and political institutions. Dr. Ambedkar saw women as the victims of the oppressive, caste- based and rigid hierarchical social system. In his letter of resignation dated the 27 September, 1951 to the Prime Minister, he wrote1 “For a long time I have been thinking of resigning my seat from the Cabinet. The only thing that had held me back from giving effect to my intention was the hope that it would be possible to give effect to the Hindu Code Bill before the life of present Parliament came to an end. I even agreed to break up the bill and restricted it to Marriage and Divorce in the fond hope that at least this much of our labour may bear fruit. But even that part of Bill had been killed. I see no purpose in my continuing to be a Member of your Cabinet”. This display the Commitment and Dedication for the Women Empowerment, for which he debated when failed he resigned for this cause. The Hindu Code Bill was later split in to four Bills, and the same were put on the Statue Book by Parliament. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; The Hindu Succession Act, 1956; The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 are the four enactments which incorporate the ideas and principles of Hindu Code Bill formulated by Dr Ambedkar.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a symbol of revolt against all oppressive features of Hindu society”. Dr. Ambedkar concept of Reservation has been extended for Upper caste Economically Weaker section by the present Government. Women Empowerment is at a slow pace and gradually increased by Awareness, Women’s movements and Government New policy for Women. In the words of Justice Gajendragadkar: 'Unless the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people are promoted quickly and liberally, the ideal of establishing social and economic equality will not be obtained, no one can dispute the proposition that political freedom and even fundamental rights can have very little meaning or significance for the Backward classes and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, unless the backwardness and inequality from which they suffer are immediately redressed.'. Similarly, Women Reservation is inevitable for the establishment of Equality and Gender Justice.

References

  1. Ahir,D.C. (1990) “The Legacy of Dr. Ambedkar” B.R.Publishing corporation, New Delhi
  2. “The rise and falls of the Hindu Women”, The Mahabodhi (Calcutta), 59.5-6, 139-151, 1950. Arya Sudha, Women Gender Equality and the State, Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi. 2000.
  3. Arya, Sudha, (200) Women Gender Equality and the State, Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi.
  4. Dr. Minara Yeasmin “Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Vision for Women Empowerment “Volume 6, Issue 2 April 2018 | ISSN: 2320-2882IJCRT1892838International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts (IJCRT) www.ijcrt.org1
  5. Moghadam, V.M. and Santova, L. 2005. Measuring Women's Empowerment: Participation and Rights in Civil, Political, Social, Economic, And Cultural Domains. op.cit., pp. 389-412.
  6. Singariya, Dr. M.R., Dr B R Ambedkar and Women Empowerment in India”, Quest journals Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, Volume 2~ Issue 1, 2014.
  7. Constitutional Law of India, J.N. Pandey.
  8. Government of India: The National Policy for the Empowerment of Women 2001, Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, 2001.
  9. Singariya, Dr. M.R.; Dr B R Ambedkar and Women Empowerment in India, Quest Journals Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, Volume 2~ Issue 1, 2014.
  10. Dr. Vijay G, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Contribution for Women’s Rights, Variorum, Multi-
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