The Women’s Reservation Bill is one of India’s longest outstanding pieces of legislation. Every time it is re-introduced, Parliament has found some way or the other to prevent it from passing.
The Bill seeks to reserve 33% of all Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats for the next 15 years, in order to get the country accustomed to having more women in law-making roles. It was even passed by Rajya Sabha in 2010, spurring powerful female leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Brinda Karat to put aside their political differences to celebrate. But this too was short-lived as the Bill lapsed on the Lok Sabha floor.