The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Babu Jagjivan Ram on his Jayanti.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, "स्वतंत्रता सेनानी और सामाजिक न्याय के प्रबल पैरोकार बाबू जगजीवन राम को उनकी जयंती पर विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। समाज के शोषितों और वंचितों के उत्थान के लिए उनके प्रभावी प्रयास सदैव प्रेरणास्रोत रहेंगे।"
स्वतंत्रता सेनानी और सामाजिक न्याय के प्रबल पैरोकार बाबू जगजीवन राम को उनकी जयंती पर विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। समाज के शोषितों और वंचितों के उत्थान के लिए उनके प्रभावी प्रयास सदैव प्रेरणास्रोत रहेंगे।
From Women's Development to Women-led Development: A Tectonic Shift in the Development Discourse of India
May 29, 2023
Women's development and empowerment have gained significant traction in India, with a growing recognition of the immense potential that lies in harnessing women's talents and capabilities. In recent years, the focus has shifted from mere women's development to fostering an environment that enables women to lead and drive development in various sectors of society. In the discussion of development, women have always been perceived as the receiving end of benefits. The new transition in the Indian context chartered a new chapter for women when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India is now following a model of women-led development.
There has been a holistic development for the Women in India post 2014. Women's empowerment is a critical constituent of sustainable development. When women are empowered, societies reap multiple benefits such as increased economic growth, improved health, better education outcomes, poverty reduction, and enhanced social cohesion. Recognising the impact of empowerment of women in society, the same was re-emphasised by the government through policy changes. Today, women are contributing to every sector, from governance to industry to defence. They are leading remarkable positions across different institutions in India. They are pushing every possible barrier and making a significant presence in entrepreneurship.
The biggest empowerment initiative that women in India were introduced was economic enablement in terms of financial inclusion. The financial inclusion scheme like Jan Dhan has the highest number of women account holders which is around 27 crore. Highest number of beneficiaries’ getting loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and Stand Up India are women. Around 9 crore women have mobilised into 82.61 lakh Self Help Groups. Women are now looked upon as more than home-makers, they are looked at as nation builders too.
The impact of such schemes is manifold, it has made women take control of their own finances making them self-reliant. It has also given them the much needed financial independence and has enabled them to take decisions on their own. The result of such outcomes has been stupendous; at least 47% of the total DPIIT recognised Startups have at least one women director indicating a tectonic shift from women development to women-led development. 28 lakh women owned MSMEs are making parallel growth stories in India as women have transformed themselves as entrepreneurs generating jobs rather than mere job seekers. These schemes have facilitated the establishment of women-led enterprises and startups, creating avenues for economic independence and innovation.
The participation of rural women in Labour Work Force 2021-22 was 32.8% which was 19.7% in 2018-19. Even Urban Work Force participation improved. The same can be attributed to policy decisions like increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks which gives job protection to women post maternity while she nurses the newborn.
The other area where a stark transformation has been observed is the area of increased political representation of women. Enhancing women's political representation is crucial for achieving women-led development. India has taken significant strides in this aspect by implementing reservation policies for women in local governance bodies. The Panchayati Raj system ensures that women hold at least one-third of the seats in rural local bodies, empowering them to actively participate in decision-making processes and shape policies that address their needs. There has been an attitude change in the society towards the political participation and representation of women, as India sends the highest ever, 78 women to the Parliament.
The Government of India is committed to enhancing the dignity and ease of living of women. To address the situation of rural housing the government has committed itself to providing “Housing for All”. Out of 2.85 crore sanctioned houses, 69% of houses are either solely or jointly owned by women. By providing ownership of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) it has fulfilled the aspirations of women of owning a pucca house and strengthened their participation in the financial decision making of the household. Further, living in a pucca house with basic amenities gives security, dignity, and economic power to women and uplifts their social inclusion.
The paradigm shift from women's development to women-led development in India marks a transformative phase in the pursuit of gender equality and inclusive growth. Through concerted efforts in education, economic empowerment, political representation, social transformation, and safety, India is fostering an environment that empowers women to take the lead in shaping their own destinies and driving the nation's progress. As women's empowerment gains momentum, it is imperative for stakeholders at all levels to continue working towards creating equal opportunities, breaking barriers, and building a society that thrives on the potential of its women. As said by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “We cannot achieve success if 50 percent of our population being women are locked at home.” The Government of India considers women-led development a central dimension of India’s progress and a necessity for strengthening India. In the last nine years, the Central government has undertaken tremendous efforts and it's now for the society to encourage women, to empower women for an exhilarated India.