A Small Step For a State, a Giant Leap For Gender Equality: Punjab Reserves 33% Govt Jobs for Women


A Small Step For a State, a Giant Leap For Gender Equality: Punjab Reserves 33% Govt Jobs for Women

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The Congress-led Punjab government took a historic step toward gender equality today. Announced by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the Punjab government approved a 33% reservation for women in all governmental and civil service jobs. “I am sure this will go a long way in further empowering our daughters and help in creating a more equitable society,” he said.

Essentially, the Punjab state cabinet approved the Punjab Civil Services (Reservation of Posts for Women) Rules, 2020, reserving 33% of the posts in government jobs, and boards and corporations in Group A, B, C, and D posts.

It’s a significant shift in attitude for not just Punjab, but other states as well. A reservation for women in governmental jobs is something many states in India could strive for. If the Punjab government’s move catches on in other parts of the country, it would mean greater representation for women. As things stand, the Punjab state government is currently basking in the praise of those who agree that it is an overdue move to promote gender equity.

Some others have pointed out that while a quota for women in civil services is praiseworthy, what would be even greater would be if such a reservation was made even in Punjab’s state assembly and also the houses of parliament.

At a time when Indian women’s safety – or the lack of it – has once again been exposed for a sham after the Hathras rape incident in Uttar Pradesh, the need for women to participate and be made to feel welcome in public life is paramount. No other state has ensured such a reservation for women, making Punjab a potential trendsetter.

The slogan “The Future is Female” has been repeated so many times it’s nearly lost its meaning, but the Punjab government has managed to walk the talk.