As early as 1996, women were supposed to get more seats, but conservative MPs opposed the reform proposal at the time. Today the mood is different – but there is still a long way to go.
In India, parliament has approved a change in the law that would reserve a third of the seats in the lower house and regional parliaments for women. After eleven hours of debate, late in the evening (local time), all 215 members of the upper house voted for the change, according to parliament.
However, it will probably be a long time before the reform actually comes into force – observers say it will be 2029 at the earliest. The change was first proposed in 1996, but was long rejected by many conservative MPs. Women are currently clearly in the minority in the House of Commons.
The approval of the regional parliaments of the federal states for the change is expected. Before the reform can actually come into force, there should first be a census. The number of seats should then be adjusted depending on the population size of the individual states. On Wednesday evening, the majority of MPs in the lower house had already approved the change.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter) in the evening that it was a historic step that would ensure that women’s voices were heard more effectively. The decision could potentially boost women’s support for the Hindu nationalist ruling party, the BJP, in upcoming regional elections in the coming months as well as national elections next year.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.