New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday wrote a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu requesting for more representation and participation of women in the discussion on the eligible marriage age Bill as the 31-member panel had only one woman.
The parliamentary panel, which will examine the Bill seeking to raise the legal age of marriage of women from 18 to 21 and submit its recommendations has only one woman member.
Chatirvedi in her letter said, “The committee has only one female Member of Parliament as a member. This is disheartening to note that a Bill so pertinent to women and the Indian society will be deliberated upon in a committee where the representation is highly skewed.
“Therefore, I request you to ensure that there should be more representation and participation of women in the discussion around the Bill that concerns the issues faced by women in India. It is of utmost importance that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account and that voices of all, especially women are heard and understood by the committee,” she added.
The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill seeks to raise the legal age of marriage from 18 to 21 for women. After being introduced in the Lok Sabha it was sent to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports.
As per the Rajya Sabha website, the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Education, Women, Children, Youth, and Sports, headed by BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, has its full complement of 31 members and Trinamool Congress member of the Upper house, Sushmita Dev is the only woman among them.
Of the 31 members, 10 are from the Rajya Sabha and 21 from the Lok Sabha.
A committee member said that it would be better if a few more women parliamentarians are made members of the committee, which is going to discuss the law about increasing the legal marriage age of women to 21 years from 18.
“Currently there is no vacancy to nominate new women MPs in the committee. But the committee Chairman has power to invite any one and we wish he will invite everyone for wider consultation on the proposed law,” said the member, who did not want to be identified.