‘We need to reform the way we think about gender in our country’

Under the government’s Awas Yojana, two crore houses have been allotted to women, informs Smriti Irani

Did you know that India stands at the 48th place in Women Empowerment Index? “If we really want to change the condition, we’ll have to change our outlook. We’ll have to break the barriers of past assumptions. We’ll have to develop a progressive outlook. Today, women are taking the front seat at village panchayats. The main problem is that we look at gender equality differently,” shared Union Minister of Women & Child Development and Minister of Minority Affairs Smriti Irani, stressing on the need for women to become more self-aware.

Speaking at the Public Affairs Forum of India’s 9th Annual Forum 2022, Irani also mentioned that under the Swachh Bharat Mission, 33 crore households which were deprived of basic sanitary facilities including toilets have now been covered. She further informed that the poor sanitary infrastructure in India put a 6 per cent burden on GDP that can be done away with by maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness. “It’s under the able leadership of Narendra Modi that the sanitary napkin, which was once considered a luxury item, is now available at only one Rupee cost making it available to every section of society,” she said, adding that the main problem in India is that we look at gender equality differently. 

Giving insights into the schemes of the Government for women, Irani said that under the Government’s Awas Yojana, two crore houses have been allotted to women candidates and that out of four crore people trained in IT under DISHA Scheme, 58 per cent were women. Talking about security of girls and women, she said that the Government has set up one-stop centres in 700-plus districts for which there is a need to increase awareness. Around seven crore self-help groups have been enabled with an investment of Rs 480 crore. Finally, she stressed on the need for technology as a great enabler and that women should not wait for others’ support to enable them but should enable themselves with the technology in their hands. 

The welcome speech for the evening was given by Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Managing Committee Member, Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) while Ajay Khanna, Co-Founder & Forum Chairman, PAFI gave the vote of thanks.

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