Along with poverty, the gender issue is a huge matter of concern in our country. With several rape and molestation cases coming into the limelight, it’s clear that India is ready for change and a reliable and earnest government can enable that. It has been a year since the Modi government came into power and year since we were promised ‘AccheDin’. So today, Shubhangini Arora marks the 10 things we saw happen for women in the last one year:
1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao- The decline in the Child Sex Ratio since this the middle of the last century has been alarming. To tackle this, the Modi government launched the campaign last year promoting girl-child education and discouraging sex-selective elimination of female children in India.
2. Suggesting legalisation of sex determination tests- On the other hand, the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, recently suggested that sex determination should be legalized in our country. Irrespective of whether she expressed her personal opinion or suggested a policy change; in a country like India, where gender disparity is one of the major concerns for its citizens, making such statements is far away from being acceptable.
3. Sons and Daughters- As the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Modi gave a powerful speech on 15th August last year, he talked about how parents should be equally concerned about their sons as they are for their daughters, for a rapist is also someone’s misguided son. He promoted his own version of the ‘HeForShe’ campaign in the speech, explaining the root cause of the problem.
4. Gender parity in the Cabinet berths – Coming to the number of women in the Narendra Modi government- there are only 7 female ministers, out of which 6 are a part of the cabinet. And six female cabinet members out of 26, does not set a very good example and is especially poor for a government that claims women are its top priority.
5. Women’s Safety in trains- Ensuring the safety of the women passengers in the trains is imperative today. The government ensured that this year’s Rail Budget will have provision for the installment of CCTV cameras to provide security for the women travelling alone. We are hoping this will be effective.
6. 2015 Finance Budget– This year’s budget allocated only INR 200 Crore for women, which is almost equivalent to the amount allocated for the construction of a statue of India’s first Home Minister, Vallabhbhai Patel. We leave the interpretation to you.
7. Nirbhaya Fund– The Modi government announced that an amount of INR 1 Crore will exclusively be allocated for the Nirbhaya Fund, which will be used to implement better measures to ensure the safety of women in the country.
8. Love Jihad- Some minsters in the Modi government have created communal tension by making an accusation attacking the Muslim population for marrying and converting Hindu women in the country. This is extremely derogatory towards women, and for free-choice. Women legally have the right to choose a life partner for themselves and aren’t victims of ‘Love Jihad.’
9. Rail Budget 2015– This year’s Rail Budget will work towards making the train journeys more comfortable for the differently abled and pregnant women. And along with introducing a helpline for women travelers in distress, this year, women self-help groups will also be promoted by the Rail Ministry.
10. Toilets for women- Under the Swacch Bharat Abhyaan, the government has promised to build toilets for 600 million people by 2019. This, if properly implemented will help women much more than men as women are more susceptible to infections when going out in the open and are often victims of harassment because of the same. We certain give this effort a thumbs up.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Digiomatic.com]