As we celebrate International Women’s Day in the 21st century, the need for empowerment of women is an idea that everyone acknowledges as important. However, following up ideas and ideals with actions is of prime importance. In this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the way.
The development of New India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken our nation to a different sphere. Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas is not only the slogan by the government but is also reflected in their central working policy. Women led development is the main center of focus of the Modi government. Those days are gone where women were only considered to be good as homemakers, we have reached a point where Nari Shakti is driving the nation. But while doing so, women have managed to maintain the balance between their personal life and professional life. Throughout history, the central role of women has ensured stability, prosperity and development of nations.
The presence of women at the highest level of decision making speaks a lot about women’s empowerment. Modi’s Council of Ministers consists of 9 female ministers, of whom 6 hold the rank of Cabinet minister. This is the highest number of female Cabinet ministers in any Indian government in history. Two in the powerful Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Defence Minister, and Sushma Swaraj – the External Affairs Minister. Other Cabinet ministers are Maneka Gandhi, Harsimrat Kaur, and Smriti Irani.
The government’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, has witnessed an unprecedented success under the Modi Government. Sex ratio at birth improved in 104 identified districts and the programme has bridged the gender gap in enrolment rates. Along with this, the Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, launched in 2015, under which deposits are made in bank accounts of girls, for higher education, more than 1.26 crore accounts have been opened.
Women safety in India is a big concern. From India being famous for its tradition and culture, where women are given most respected place in the society, where women are given the place of Goddess Lakshmi, some cases of crime against women have changed the idea of safety. In order to improve the situation regarding safety and security, the Modi government has taken many steps- provision of Death Penalty for rape of girl child under 12 years and Minimum punishment for rape of a girl under 16 years increased from 10 years to 20 years.
In December, the Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Marriage) Bill, has passed in the Lok Sabha, to promote the rights of the Muslim women.
To provide integrated financial and support services, the Pradhan Mantri MUDRAYojana (PMMY) provides loans upto Rs. 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. In which more than 74% of the beneficiaries are women. Over 9 crore women have benefitted jointly from Mudra & Stand-Up India.
In the last few years, India has witnessed change in the status and role of women in society. The approach has been changed, from being the subject of welfare, term has shifted to empowerment. It is not easy to change the perspective of the society overnight. Nevertheless, the Modi government has shifted focus from merely helping them to empowering them.
Please look at the below points in Glance how women’s are empowered in last 5 years.
- Maternity leave for working women before 2014 was 12 Weeks now 26 Weeks.
- Eighteen crore of the total Jan Dhan bank accounts belong to women.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), where 75% house owners are women.
- Ensuring equality to Muslim women, Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq Bill.
- Free LPG gas connections and making their kitchens smoke-free. Over 6 crore free LPG gas connection distributed so far.
- More than six crore toilets have been built to make sanitation safer and more accessible, directly impacting the health and dignity of women.
- More than 1.30 crore accounts opened under Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme to ensure bright financial future of a girl child.
- The provision of death penalty for rape of a girl child under 12 years is a landmark move to strengthen the safety and security of women.
- Payout to Anganwadi workers from Rs.3000 to Rs.4500.
- Payout to Anganwadi helpers from Rs.1500 to Rs.2250.
- Double incentives to ASHA workers & free insurance of Rs.4Lakh.
- Lt Bhavana Kasturi become the first female officer to lead the Indian Army’s Service contingent.
- Women officers can now get permanent commissions in all 10 branches of the Indian Army.
- It was the first time that the three wings of the Indian Armed Forces—the Army, Navy and Air Force—had an all-woman contingent each marching down Rajpath during republic day parade.
- The contingents were 148-strong each, and led by Capt. Divya Ajith (Army), Lt Cdr Sandhya Chauhan(Navy) and Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat (Air Force) respectively on republic day.
From the birth of a girl to her education, her health, her employment, her motherhood, her financial independence and security, and her entrepreneurial aspirations, schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi to Mudra, Beti Bacho Beti Padao to Ujjwala many such schemes have brought by the central govt to ensure women’s participation in all the field.
For any little girl out there, new India is the place where she stands an equal chance to lead the nation, as much as anyone else. This, as Modi says, is not just women empowerment but women-led development. It is a matter of pride that women are increasingly playing a bigger role in the development of the nation, right from cities and villages up to Parliament. From the Panchayat to the Parliament, Indian women are playing a leading role in decision-making and strengthening the grassroots of our Democracy
Let us celebrate the birth of the girl child. We should be equally proud of our daughters. I urge you to sow five plants when your daughter is born to celebrate the occasion.
~ PM Narendra Modi