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Voices: India's quota for women in parliament

9 March 10 14:52 GMT

The upper house of India's parliament has approved a bill to reserve a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women.

BBC News spoke to people in the capital, Delhi, about their views on a move which party leaders are hailing as "historic".

KUSUM, DELHI POLICE

The reservation bill is a good thing. Women should be on a par with men. I don't think the women's quota will be misused by political parties either.

The reservation is required. Ladies should get every opportunity to get ahead in life.

ANCHAL AND PRIYA, STUDENTS

Anchal: I think it is a nice thing.

Women have been disadvantaged in many fields. But there are minus points as well. The quota might be misused. But if it is for the sake of uplift - to make women more prominent - then it is all right.

In India women are still in the backseat. They aren't afforded their rights so women's reservations are justified. There are reservations for different castes and tribes, so why not women?

Priya: I don't think a women's reservation (in parliament) is a necessity. It actually cuts into the chances of somebody more deserving.

We could now see women from rural areas being pushed into the political mainframe, women who don't even know what politics is all about. If women are capable, they don't and won't need reservation.

NARENDER, TRADER

I don't see any reason for reservations. If we deal with the issue of uplift at the root level, why would we need quotas?

Besides, the quota could be misused by influential families. If the nominated person is educated, I don't see much harm, but every one should get a fair chance in parliament.

SANJEEV, INSURANCE AGENT

If women are capable and deserving, then why do they need reservations? The top positions in this country are held by women!

Are there going to be reservations for all sections of society? Have reservations really helped in the past?

Interviews and pictures by Gayathri Sreedharan

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