The Cabinet Division on Monday decided to extend the tenure of women MPs (reserved seat) by another 25 years , to 2044.
The proposal was given the nod by approving the draft of the 17th Constitution (17th Amendment) Bill, 2018 at a weekly cabinet meeting, according to sources at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
During the meeting, the Law Ministry proposed to extend the tenure of women MPs (reserved seat) in parliament by 20 years. However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina suggested it be increased to 25 years. Currently, 50 parliamentary seats are reserved exclusively for women.
The tenure of women MPs (reserved seat) in the parliament will end on January 24, 2019.
As per the Constitution, Parliament shall consist of 300 members to be elected directly and 50 reserved seats for women to be allotted to parties based on their proportional representation in the House.
After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
"There are 50 reserved seats in Parliament. But the existing 10-year tenure of the reserved seats is going to end. This is why the cabinet approved the draft to extend the period by 25 more years," he said.
According to the draft bill, the 25-year period of the reserved seats will be counted from the first day of the 11th parliament, said Shafiul Alam.
In 2004, the 8th parliament extended the tenure of the reserved seats by another 10 years through a constitutional amendment and it became effective in the 9th parliament, which sat on January 25, 2009.
The 8th parliament increased the number of reserved seats from 30 to 45 while the 9th parliament enhanced it to 50.