The Bhartiya Janta Party, is out with its manifesto and it headlines a lot of promises that will include or impact women. The manifesto is titled “Sankalp Patra” which means determined and empowered India. Let’s take a look at issues that matter to women.

Here are a few promises that concern women:

SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • The party commits to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir. It believes that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state. 
  • Women’s security will be given more priority. Manifesto says that the party has constituted the Women’s Security Division in the Home Ministry, and made strict provisions for transferring the laws in order to commit crimes against women, in particular in a time-bound investigation and trial for rape. In such cases, forensic facilities and fast track courts will be expanded to bring convicts to justice.

BJP Health ManifestoHEALTH BENEFITS

  • The Mission Indradhanush programme has ensured full immunization of 3.39 crore children and 87.18 lakh pregnant mothers. Further, the annual increase in the rate of immunization has jumped from 1% per year to 6% per year. Continuing this pace, we will ensure full immunization coverage for all the children and pregnant women by 2022.
  • The party endeavours to make the National Nutrition Mission a mass movement and strengthen infrastructure and capacity in all Anganwadis.
  • They also want to accelerate the reforms in para-medical education sector so as to increase the availability of nurses, pharmacists and other paramedical personnel.
  • The manifesto states that the party will focus on ensuring good quality, easily accessible and affordable maternal healthcare services for all women.
  • It referred to the government’s POSHAN Abhiyan, it assures to reduce the malnutrition level by 10% at least in the next five years, doubling the rate of reduction of malnutrition.
  • It ensures that all reproductive and menstrual health services are easily available to all women across India and with the expansion of ongoing Suvidha scheme, sanitary pads at an affordable cost of just Rs. 1 will be provided to all women and girls.

SPORTS

  • It says that the government has taken comprehensive steps to develop the culture of sports in the country through the ‘Khelo India’ scheme, and we will continue to provide adequate resources under this scheme to ensure the achievement of declared objectives. Under this scheme, special attention will be given to encourage sporting talent among women and tribals.

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FINANCIAL SUPPORT

  • It wants to continue to build on the gains of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme to provide accessible and affordable quality education to all women. It promises to ensure that ample financial support is available to girls throughout their education and subsidised education loans are provided for higher education.
  • It promises to ensure financial empowerment among women in rural and semi-rural areas and create better employment opportunities for them. We will make every effort to ensure access to credit and other resources, capacity building, market and distribution network for women entrepreneurs, SHGs and women farmers, says the manifesto.

WOMEN IN WORKFORCE

  • It shows its commitment to make women equal partners in and equal beneficiaries of the progress and prosperity of the nation and will formulate a comprehensive ‘Women in Workforce’ roadmap focussed on dramatically increasing the female workforce participation rate over the next five years. We will also encourage industries and corporates to generate better employment opportunities for women.
  • To generate better work opportunities for women, 10% material to be sourced for government procurement will be done from MSMEs having at least 50% women employees in their workforce. This will cover various import substitution items including, but not limited to, apparel, leather, paper and wood, articles, stone items like idols, etc, plastic and rubber items, furniture, clocks, toys etc.
  • To ensure greater participation of women in the workforce, it is necessary to enable them to continue in the workforce by providing support for child care. The party has proposed to strengthen the creche programme with special focus on the needs of parents employed in the unorganized sector to provide crèche and child care facilities by leveraging the existing Anganwadis, civil society organisations and the private sector. It promises will ensure that the number of childcare facilities is increased three fold by 2022.
  • It will increase the coverage of Ayushman Bharat to include all Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers to ensure improved health and social support system for these frontline workers.
  • It will formulate a dedicated programme for the creation of work opportunities, provide skill training and strengthen social security mechanism for widows of our Martyrs.

INCLUSION, GENDER JUSTICE AND RESERVATION

  • To create a positive atmosphere for women, promote gender justice and create awareness on issues related to women, gender sensitisation courses will be made an essential part of all educational institution’s curriculum and training modules of public offices.
  • “Every society progresses through the empowerment of women, inclusion of minorities and the encouragement of youth,” states the manifesto. Hence the party vows that it will not allow these objectives to be held back by the politics of appeasement. Therefore, it hope to modernize personal laws to prohibit practices such as Talaq-e-Biddat and Nikah Halala.
  • The BJP commits to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.
  • It vows to ensure that the subject of faith, tradition and worship rituals related to Sabarimala are presented in a comprehensive manner before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The party will endeavour to secure constitutional protection on issues related to faith and belief.
  • Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code.

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