Kigali: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU 145th ) Assembly was held on Tuesday at the Rwandan parliament. More than a thousand delegates—60 presidents and vice presidents—represent the 120 IPU member parliaments, including India, who are present at the meeting.
Representing India, MP Kartikeya Sharma said, ‘‘Gender-sensitive parliaments: Parliaments free from sexism, harassment and violence against women”.
Kartikeya Sharma said, ”I appreciate the IPU’s new report on sexism, harassment and violence against women Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff in Parliaments around the world, which provides important data and examples of good parliamentary practices.”

MP Kartikeya Sharma with Sratsanun Unnopporn, MP and Hon. Prof. Kraisid Tontisirin, MP from Thailand.

He noted that the data presented indicates that the gender-sensitive Parliament still has a lot of work to do. He continued by saying that it is high time for us to reflect in order to get rid the Parliament of sexism, harassment, and violence against women.
Speaking about the scenario in India, he said, “In India, the principle of gender equality is enshrined in our Constitution and the Parliament of India has also enacted several progressive laws to protect women against discrimination, violence, atrocities and also to eradicate social evils. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments provided for reservation of 33 per cent of seats for women in the local bodies of governance that is in the Panchayats and Municipal Bodies.”
“It also provides for at least one-third reservation for women to the office of Chairperson in these bodies. Some of the Indian States have already raised the reservation level up to 50 per cent to provide for still wider participation,” he further added.
”I am happy to inform that over 46 per cent of the total elected representatives in Panchayats and Municipal Bodies are women.”
On the forum, he addressed, “Today under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, and India has moved from a paradigm of women’s development to women-led development. I am proud to say that we are moving with the vision of a new India where women are equal partners in fast paced and sustainable national development. I take pride in saying that we have just elected a woman as the President of India. “
He mentioned that the current 17th Lok Sabha returned a record 78 women members to the Lok Sabha, the highest ever representation for Lok Sabha.
He also said that the government ensured gender-sensitive facilities for women members such as crèche and Ladies’ Lounge. “We also have a Complaints Committee for Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees,” he added.
“In the current Lok Sabha, Hon’ble Speaker, Shri Om Birla has taken initiatives to enable women members to effectively participate in the deliberations of the House. In the initial Sessions of the House, out of the 46 first time elected women MPs, 42 spoke during Zero Hour,” he said.
According to him, it is the responsibility of a member of parliament to ensure that the workplace is safe and free from sexual harassment, sexism, and violence against women.
“To achieve this, it requires first and foremost having a strong commitment at the highest political level and change of mind-sets,” he added.