Amaravati, Feb 10 (PTI) The NDA government would pass the long-pending legislation providing 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures “once we get majority in Rajya Sabha”, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has this in mind and the day is not is far when Parliament will pass the law providing women reservation through consensus. Once we (NDA) get majority in Rajya Sabha, we will get the Bill passed,” he said, addressing the National Women’s Parliament here.

“Priority should be given to women. They are the unsung heroes and it is time they were given voice and due space…

With all the necessary moral support, I, on behalf of my party, assure you that the women bill will be passed at the earliest,” the minister said.

“A mere Bill is not sufficient. What is needed is political will and administrative skill. Political parties should show conviction in this regard,” he said.

Noting that gender inequality was having a serious impact on economic development, Venkaiah said focus should be on gender empowerment to end inequalities.

“On a scale of 0-1 in gender inequality index, India ranked 0.54. Gender inequality is having a serious impact on economic development and it has become a pressing concern across the world. Hence, there is a global demand for women empowerment,” the Union Minister said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives to promote women empowerment.

“The Prime Minister is giving so much importance to women empowerment and under his leadership, India will transform totally,” he said.

Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama urged people to make the century an age of “compassion and dialogue” by encouraging increased women’s participation in different walks of life.

The three-day National Women’s Parliament, being organised by Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly with the theme of ‘Empowering Women – Strengthening Democracy’, began today in the state capital of Amaravati.

P Ashok Gajapati Raju, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Chaudhury, Gandhian Ela Bhatt, actress Manisha Koirala and many other dignitaries attended the inaugural event at Pavitra Sangamam here.

An ‘International Woman Icon of the World’ award and 12 best young achievers awards for women in different fields will be presented at the NWP.

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