On women’s rights, West takes a backward step, and India shows the way

Smriti Zubin Irani
Contd from previous issue
The present Government evinces the highest regard for its bahuroopi daughters who act -at various points in their life- not only as loving mothers but as sincere students, valuable employees and valorous entrepreneurs. The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign’s call to ensure that girls are born and nurtured bore fruit in the form of an improved sex ratio of 1020 females per 1000 males. Yojanas such as Ujjwala and Jal Jeevan Mission reduced the time poverty of the females of the household; it gave them much needed respite from the drudgery of collecting fuelwood or water so they could partake in other gainful activities. The Mudra Yojana has provided aspiring women entrepreneurs with loans sans collateral and yet another scheme, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, has advocated for higher subsidies for women.
While the West is curtailing abortion rights, India is extending the ceiling of permissible abortions. Where menstrual hygiene remains a conversation hushed in whispered tones in other parts of the world, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue from the ramparts of the Red Fort with 1.3 billion Indians listening intently. By outlawing Triple Talaq, the Government has comforted the constant state of insecurity faced by Muslim women. By proposing to revise the permissible marriageable age, the Government has held men and women to the same, unbiased standards. The present Government has ever so carefully instilled conscientiousness into the calculus of policy making-with a fervent hope that it will better the lives of the mothers and daughters of India for generations to come. Even as the West retrogresses, India progresses and shows the path for a progressive society.
The writer is Union Minister of Women and Child Development  PIB