Historic Decision For Women Empowerment

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The vision of not only women’s upliftment but women-led development has become the policy since the inception of Narendra Modi government at the centre since 2014. The vision of the Prime Minister to empower the women in India further strengthened with the passage of ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ or Women’s Reservation Bill 2023 in the historic occasion of the special session of new Parliament building. With it, Shri Narendra Modi’s resolution to attain the dream of women’s reservation in the legislature, pending for decades, easily became law. It was possible only for the resolve, bold decision, determination, and honest initiative of the Prime Minister. Now the path has been paved for 33 percent women’s reservation in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in India.

The history of this bill was quite long. Efforts were being made to pass this women’s reservation bill was three decades old. There were various kinds of obstacles in the path of this bill ensuring women’s reservation. But, when the intentions are pure and transparency in the efforts, then it brings good results even after overcoming numerous difficulties.

It is also a record in itself that this bill got widespread support in both the Houses. Now the dates of 20-21 September will be written in golden words because of the historic passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam by both houses of the Parliament with record votes on these dates. Almost everyone in the new Parliament House, rising above the boundaries of party line, voted in its favor.

The Prime Minister also made the occasion special and called a special session with a special purpose to enter the new building of the Parliament and to pass the Adhiniyam. Now, whenever there is talk of the inauguration of the new Parliament building, every Indian and especially women will feel proud because the passage of the legislation was associated with it on it’s very first day and first session. In fact, the new Parliament created a new history and this will be discussed for many generations to come.

Provisions in Nari Shakti Vandan Act, 2023

(128th Amendment Act of the Constitution, 2023)
• Through this bill, amendments were made in Articles 339AA, 330A, 332A and 334A.
• Through Section 339AA, 33 percent seats will be reserved for women in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
• Through 330A, one-third of the seats to be filled by direct election in the Lok Sabha (including seats reserved for women belonging to SCs and STs) will be reserved for women.
• Through 332A, seats will be reserved for women in the Legislative Assembly of every state. In clause 3 of the article, one third of the seats including SC and ST will be reserved for women.
• A new provision has been added in 334A under which the period of women’s reservation will be for 15 years. If needed in future, Parliament will have the right to extend the period of reservation.
• Currently the number of seats in the Lok Sabha is 543. As soon as the law comes into force, the number of women members will increase to 181 which is currently 82.

The dream that the country was waiting for the last several decades has now become reality. Following the signature of the Hon’ble President of India, the law has been made on 29 September, 2023. Now, 33 percent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies has been granted. This is a proclamation of the new democratic commitment of the ‘New India’. This is a very strong step towards building a developed India in ‘Amrit Kaal’. This is a direct proof of Prime Minister Shri Modi’s resolve to improve the standard of living of women, to improve the quality of life, and to bring a new era of women-led development in the country.

Making the impossible possible

There were efforts and talks for women’s reservation for three decades. Before this, the bill was brought in Parliament four times but was never passed. It was hung in the name of consensus. In such a situation, the question is natural that how Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi got this bill passed with consensus in a single attempt. Why didn’t this happen earlier? The only reason for this is s dynamic vision of PM. Today, there is a strong government at the Centre with full majority, whose identity is taking bold decisions and getting them implemented. It’s passing in both the Houses is a testimony to the fact.

Other initiatives for empowerment of women

• Special assistance was given to women during the Covid period.
• During April-June 2020, an amount of more than Rs 30 thousand crore was transferred to the accounts of 20 crore women.
• 14 crore refill cylinders were given free under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
• There are about 1.2 crore self-help groups in India, of which 88 percent are entirely women self-help groups. 9 crore women are included in these.
• The limit for giving guarantee free loans to women self-help groups was increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
• More than 10 crore poor families in the country have been given LPG connections under Ujjwala. World Health Organization figures show that due to this effort of the Central Government, the cases of respiratory diseases among women have reduced by 20 percent.
• Over 27 crore Jan Dhan accounts, special fixed deposit schemes, StandUp India, more than 27 crore MUDRA loans to women, or Mission Poshan, each of these programs introduced by the Modi government also played a vital role in empowering the women.

Women taking the lead

Not As a result of the welfare initiatives of Modi government, the number of women in technical education in industrial training institutes has doubled since 2014. About 43 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates in India are women. Nearly one-fourth of space scientists in India are women. The talent and hard work of women scientists is behind the success of major programs like Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan and Mission Mangal. Today, women are taking admission in higher education in India in greater numbers than men. The country has the highest percentage of female pilots in the civil aviation sector. Women officers are being deployed in operational roles and on combat fronts in all the armed forces.

India’s push for women empowerment in G-20

Shri Narendra Modi also put forward the issue of women-led development in front of the entire world. While presiding over the G-20, India made the world realize that women and daughters can not only participate in policies but are also capable of securing their position in policy-making. This is because for the present central government, women empowerment is not a political issue but a resolution. An example of this is seen when Shri Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Shri Modi had given the entire amount received as salary for the education of the daughters of Gujarat Secretariat employees. Not only this, he also donated the amount received from the auction of gifts for the education of girls. Prime Minister had also handed over his social media account to 7 women on International Women’s Day in 2019. This wonderful example of equality in words and deeds is actually giving equal rights and opportunities to women in India.
With the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Act in Parliament, we begin an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. This is not just a law; this is an honour to the countless women who have taken the country forward and has contributed in making India strong and prosperous. Nari Shakti Vandan Act will determine the role of women power in the development of India. This will prove as a milestone in the making of a developed India in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ till the year 2047.
(The writer is National President of BJP Kisan Morcha)