Continuing his interactions through the Narendra Modi Mobile App, the Prime Minister today interacted with BJP Mahila Morcha of Karnataka. Appreciating the role and increasing participation of women in society, he said that the country was moving towards ‘women-led development’ from just development of women.
For the BJP too, the Prime Minister said that the approach was women first and highlighted that important portfolios were allotted to women ministers in the cabinet.
The Prime Minister mentioned about two pictures from the SCO Summit, which were popular on social media platforms. The pictures were of defence ministers and foreign ministers of several countries and only women in those pictures were Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji, our External Affairs Minister and Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, our Raksha Mantri. This, the Prime Minister said, was a proud moment for the country as well as a commitment on part of the Government to promote participation of women in decision making.
Shri Modi mentioned that winning the polling booths must be the agenda and urged the women karyakartas to further the reach of government initiatives. He also urged the Mahila Morcha to conduct marches in their polling booths with the women beneficiaries of several schemes like the Ujjwala Yojana.
Highlighting several women friendly initiatives, he said that the government was devoted towards empowering them and hence after the roll out of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana, it was expanded to over 600 districts pan India. He mentioned about the 26 weeks maternity leaves for women, distribution of free LPG gas connections to women below the poverty line.
Speaking about a few initiatives which were rolled out under the previous BJP Government in Karnatak under Shri Yeddyurappa ji like the Bhagyalakshami Yojana, Sanjeevani, and cycle distribution for high school girls, the PM said that such initiatives strengthened women and girl children.
The Prime Minister took questions on rising crime against women and highlighted the recent measures undertaken by the Government to strengthen the Indian Penal Code, POCSO and CrPC. He added that the Government approved an ordinance to provide for stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years and death penalty to rapists below 12 years of age.
The Prime Minister spoke at length about Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matrutva Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush, girl child education and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana for financial inclusion of girl children. He shed light on how initiatives like the Mudra Yojana and Stand Up India were giving wings to aspirations of women entrepreneurs.
He further added that to incentivize employment of more women in the formal sector and to enable higher take-home salaries, amendments were made to the EPF Act to reduce women employees’ contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment as against existing rate of 12% and with no change in employers’ contribution. He also highlighted the amendment made by the Centre to the Factories Act to enable women to work at nights.
Speaking about the Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana, the Prime Minister mentioned that these were aimed at further empowering the women. The Prime Minister also mentioned about ease in passport norms for women, 33% reservation of women in police forces, registration of homes in the name of women members of family under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Shri Modi said that ‘Complete and comprehensive commitment towards Nari Shakti’ was the Government’s endeavour.
The Prime Minister also remembered the legacy of women leadership from Karnataka.