Shehnaz Ganai of opposition National Conference moved the private member's bill in the Upper House to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act 2004.

The statistics available in the state show that women are not adequately represented in state services. In order to provide equal opportunities and better living conditions to women it is necessary to provide reservation to them in appointment through direct recruitment.

The bill seeks to achieve said purpose, Shehnaz told the House. She said the total percentage of reservation would not be disturbed by the bill as the women would be provided reservation against available vacancies in each category.

The legislator said even though PDP-BJP government headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has taken some initiatives to empower women in the state, the reservation in the recruitment would make a "difference".

Shehnaz pleaded before the House to pass the bill, saying figures suggest there were less number of women employees in almost all the departments in the state except Education, Health and Medical Education Departments.

She said the reservation would help women go a long way. However, the government while opposing the bill said many steps have been taken for the empowerment of the women in J-K and there is no need to pass the Bill.

There is no such rule in the constitution to employ people on sex reservation. "I request the member to withdraw it," Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, said.

Shehnaz, however, refused to withdraw it and insisted the Bill be put to vote in the House. The bill was defeated in the House after the ruling PDP and BJP members opposed it.

The NC legislator said it was unfortunate that on one hand the ruling parties talk of women empowerment but on the other they opposed the bill.


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