Modi has always been a vocal proponent of women empowerment. In a refreshing break from the earlier unimaginative governance paradigm of handing out nine LPG cylinders or twelve, Modi has now ensured more than three crore women are living smoke free lives due to the Ujjwala Yojana. More than six crore toilets have been built to make sanitation safer and more accessible, directly impacting the health and dignity of women. This is not a culture of temporary handouts that keeps people dependent on the government but is a culture of true and irreversible empowerment.
The success and transformation that Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has brought, both in attitudes and in outcomes, will be remembered fondly by history. Under Swachh Vidyalaya, many schools saw separate toilets being built for girls, to reduce girls dropping out of schools. Indian civilization has produced Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Rani Chennamma of Kittur, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar and many more inspirational women leaders. As the flag-bearer of Indian civilizational values, BJP has championed political empowerment of women, in governance or within the party organisation itself.
Today the Cabinet Committee on Security, that deliberates upon matters of national security, has two women. This first was possible because of another historic first – for the first time, India saw a woman become full time defense minister in Nirmala Sitharaman..
Modi’s government also has six female Cabinet ministers, perhaps the highest number of women in the Cabinet ever. This sends a powerful signal to millions of young women that there is no domain that a woman cannot enrich and there are no barriers that can stop them.New India is about enabling women with opportunities to express their innate leadership qualities. The nation will benefit from women’s qualities like excellent management abilities, communication skills, ability to multitask. It will also give a more caring and compassionate edge to the often impersonal realm of governance.
For any little girl out there, new India is the place where she stands an equal chance to lead the nation, as much as anyone else. This, as Modi says, is not just women empowerment but women-led development.It is a matter of pride that women are increasingly playing a bigger role in the development of the nation, right from cities and villages up to Parliament. It is a matter of even more pride that the Modi led BJP is leading the way, not only in making women-centric policies a focal point of governance but also in ensuring better representation in positions of power.