Can dual-member constituencies be the way forward for women's reservation?
Source:R6, NIAS, Bangalore (2012)
The long delay in the passing of the Women?s Reservation Bill has contributed to a growing tendency to ask whether the existing Bill built around a 33 per cent reservation for women is the best way forward. There has been a demand to consider dual-member constituencies as a way forward by academics like Medha Nanivadekar and Meena Dhanda. The National Alliance of People?s Movements too has called for a campaign on a number of issues including ?Instead of demanding 33% reservation for women in parliamentary institutions, let there be representation of both sexes from each constituency at every level of governance.?1 This report seeks to evaluate the option of dual-member constituencies as a way forward for women?s reservation, in comparison to the existing option based on one-third reservation of seats for women. In order to do so it first arrives at a set of three criteria: the extent of reservation; the extent to which the proposed model minimizes exclusion; and the impact it will have on the quality of representation in the polity as a whole.
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