On Friday, the Parliament of India passed a resolution that supported setting aside one-third of all state and national legislature seats for women. Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who backed the measure, told the lower house (Lok Sabha), “I assure the house we are entirely in agreement with the spirit of the resolution. Every year we are taking steps to ensure the empowerment of women.” The non-binding resolution was also passed by the upper house (Rajya Sabha) and would have to be ratified by the legislatures of India’s 25 states and win the backing of the president in order to become law.
In recent months, women’s rights activists have stepped up their campaign for quotas in order to combat the fact that they are increasingly left out of political decision-making.