‘No Sir’ No More in Rajya Sabha; Shiv Sena MP Says Upper House to Use Gender-neutral Terms from Next Session

Rajya Sabha Secretariat has said it will inform ministries to furnish gender neutral replies to the Parliamentary questions from the next session, according to a letter shared by Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Twitter.

This came after Chaturvedi wrote to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi regarding the usage of “No sir” phrase in the answers to the questions raised by women parliamentarians.

The Shiv Sena MP took to Twitter on Wednesday to inform that she has received a letter from Rajya Sabha Secretariat in this regard. She thanked the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for correcting the anomaly in parliament question responses from ministries to women MPs.

In the letter dated September 8, 2022 to the Union Minister, Chaturvedi wrote the phrase ‘No, Sir’ is often used in cases where the answer is in negative in the answers provided for the questions raised in the Parliament.

“As a woman parliamentarian, it is concerning to observe the institutional gender mainstreaming by the temple of democracy – Parliament itself. Our Constitution is based on the principle of equality. I request you to kindly look into this practice and issue appropriate directions to address the concerned parliamentarian as per their respective gender only. Although this may seem like a small change, but it will go a long way in giving women their due representation in the parliamentary process,” she stated.

In response to the letter, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat informed that the Ministries will be informed to furnish “gender neutral replies” to the Parliamentary Questions from the next session of Rajya Sabha onwards.

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