Women’s turn: is reservation the only way to a fair deal in India? Economic growth delivers justice too

Synopsis: Instead of providing reservations to women, it is better to introduce policies that make them economically independent. 


Recently, 3 women judges have been appointed as the judges of the Supreme Court, which now accounts for a total of 12% judges in the Supreme Court. With the counts still very low, even after 75 years of Independence, the Chief Justice of India offers to provide a 50% quota to women in Judiciary. This opens the debate for reservation and economic upliftment of women. 

Read more: CJI voices support for 50% representation for women in judiciary
What is the present status of women in holding various offices? 

Indian women’s representation in Parliament and bureaucracy is only marginally better than women in Supreme Court. Its count is also less in contrast to women from other parts of the world. For Eg Iceland, recently celebrated female majority Parliament. It is also on the top list for the World Economic index gender equality for 12 years in a row. 

Labour Force: A research shows that Indian women had been withdrawing from the labour force. This starts happening even before the pandemic. The reason behind that is displacement by the male workers because of the repeated macroeconomic shocks. In contrast to Iceland, where more than 50% of women got a university degree and over 47% contributes to the total labour force. 

Reservations vs Economic growth debate 

Arguments in favour of reservation are that it believes in the principle of social justice. Diverse voices will lead to better decision-making and include the say of the disadvantaged. But providing reservation to the disadvantaged section does not solve the purpose.

Instead of reservation, there is a need to implement good economic policies for the upliftment of not only women but also the other sections like Dalit, Adivasis etc.   

Source: This post is based on the article “ Women’s turn: is reservation the only way to a fair deal in India? Economic growth delivers justice too” posted in The Times of India on 27th September 2021. 

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