Women MPs’ contribution should be judged by quality not numbers: Speaker

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The performance of women parliamentarians needs to be measured on the basis of the quality of their contribution in the proceedings and not by their number in the Legislatures, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Friday.

Speaking at an event organised by the Vision India Foundation here where she interacted with more than 160 students and alumni from premier institutes like IITs, NLUs, Yale, LSE and Manchester, Mahajan emphasised that “we should concentrate more on how women are contributing to society and to the nation”.

Mahajan said the demand for women reservation in Parliament is genuine, but it should also be ensured that women MPs understand their mandate properly and participate in the proceedings in a qualitatively better and purposive manner.

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She emphasised that initiatives like gender budgeting, women-friendly technologies, and tailor-made part-time jobs for women require policy interventions to harmonize their responsibilities at workplaces and homes.

Commenting on conducting Parliament’s business, Mahajan lamented that while there were several rules to conduct the business of the House in a meaningful manner, on occasions acrimonious scenes are witnessed, which undermine the dignity of the House and negate the core responsibility of the parliamentarians.

She underlined that such unruly behaviour is closely watched by the people who articulate their electoral preferences on the basis of the performance of their representatives.

She said that the uproar in the House is not solely due to the behaviour of the individual members.

On the media’s role, the Speaker said the media had an important role in communicating the proceedings of Parliament to the people.

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However, she pointed out, of late, it has been a tendency among media persons to highlight only the disruptions in the House, ignoring the good work done in Parliament and its Committees.

She urged the media to perform its duty in a judicious manner so that the concerns and aspirations of the people could be integrated with the parliamentary work.

She shared that Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI), which was conceptualized by her, provides continuous support to the members, through interaction with experts, for understanding and articulating responses on issues that are raised in the House.



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