Says role of women continuously expanding, women commissions need to widen their scope of work
Noting that the role of women in the society is continuously expanding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the women commissions will have to increase their scope of work and give a new direction to the women of their states.
Speaking on the occasion of the 30th foundation day of the National Commission for Women (NCW), the prime minister said the participation of women in the growth cycle of a “new India” is increasing continuously and the commissions should also promote the role of women in entrepreneurship.
“Today, the role of women is continuously expanding, so all women’s commissions will also have to increase their scope of work and give a new direction to the women of their states,” he said.
Modi said people with old thinking considered the skills of women as a matter of domestic work but it is necessary to change this mindset to bolster the country’s economy.
Taking a swipe at the previous governments, he said those who did not give priority to women safety, women did not hesitate to remove them from power.
The prime minister said his government is working with a zero-tolerance policy for crime against women. Such crimes will attract strict punishment, including capital punishment for heinous cases of rape, he added.
“There are fast-track courts and steps like more women helpdesks at police stations, 24-hour helplines, portals to deal with cyber crimes are being taken,” Modi said.
Highlighting the steps taken by the government toward women empowerment, he said both the Make in India and the Self-reliant India initiatives are utilising the skills of women for the country’s progress.
In the last seven years, the policies of the country have become more sensitive towards women, Modi noted.
“Today, India is among the countries with a provision for maximum maternity leave. The marriageable age for women is being raised to 21 years so that marriage does not become a hindrance in their education and career,” he said.
With 26 weeks, India is one of the countries that give maximum maternity leave to women, the prime minister pointed out.
“About 70 per cent beneficiaries under the Mudra Yojana are women and crores of women have started their business using the scheme,” he said.
“The milestone of 30 years, whether in the life of an individual or of an organisation, is very important. This is the time for new responsibilities and for moving forward with new energy,” Modi added.
He said for centuries, India’s strength has been the local industries or the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“In these industries, women have the same role as that of men. The country has seen a three-fold increase in the number of women self-help groups in the last six-seven years. Similarly, of the over 60,000 startups that have come up after 2016, 45 per cent have at least one woman director,” he said.
The prime minister informed that since 2015, 185 women have been honoured with Padma awards and this year too, 34 women figured among the awardees in different categories.
“This is a record as so many awards to women are unprecedented,” he said.
Modi also talked about the historical distance of rural women from empowerment.
He listed steps such as nine crore gas connections and toilets, pucca houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in the name of women, support during pregnancy and Jan Dhan accounts that make women the face of a changing India.