For the first time, the UP Assembly has set aside a day for women MLAs to speak on women’s issues
New Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, a day – September 22 – has been set aside for women legislators to speak and raise women-centric issues in the House, which will be held in the five-day monsoon session on Monday.
The decision was taken in the meeting of the all-party and business advisory committee held on Sunday. The move comes at a time when the opposition is ready to raise the issue of women’s safety in the state in the backdrop of the recent incident of alleged rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Lakhimpur Kheri.
He said, ‘On September 22, we will give a chance to the women MLAs to speak. This is something which no other assembly in the country has done…the time after Question Hour will be reserved for discussion by women MLAs,” Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana told media persons on Sunday.
The 403-member UP Assembly has only 47 women MLAs, of which 22 are first-time legislators.
The concern that women legislators are hesitant to speak in the male-dominated assembly was raised during an interaction with the Speaker as an initiative to “develop better rapport” with the legislators and “better functioning” of the House.
About a month and a half ago, Speaker Mahana had started an exercise in which he would interact with the legislators of the group according to their professional degree, gender and legislative tenure, to exchange views and experiences without the compulsion of party whips and ideologues. will do.
“When I met the women MLAs and heard their issues, I realized that some of them get uncomfortable when the male members start speaking. I had then assured him to set aside a day for the women MLAs to speak.
According to a senior official, the Question Hour will be held on September 22 as usual as questions have been kept separate for each day. “The rest of the day’s proceedings after Question Hour will be for women MLAs and women issues. In future also, a day may be dedicated to a group of MLAs or such issues,” the official said.
Welcoming the decision, the women legislators said they are eager to see the reaction of their male counterparts and how they react when issues are raised.
She said, “This is a constructive step towards women empowerment… While the Assembly is the place to raise the issues of our constituencies, many women MLAs raise issues, while some could not. Hence, this arrangement is for those Will give an opportunity to all women MLAs, who are less in numbers in this spacious House, to raise issues of their constituencies,” Minister of State (Higher Education) Rajni Tiwari, who is a BJP MLA from Shahbad constituency, said in Hardoi.