Move beyond women development to women-led development: Modi at National Conference of Women

New Delhi, (IANS): Laying stress on moving towards women-led development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged elected representatives to use technology to be more effective in their role and suggested creating a e-platform of women MPs.

Addressing the National Conference of Women Legislators, he said the country must think beyond “women development” and move towards “women-led development” and asked woman lawmakers to interact with panchayat and municipal representatives in their area as a step towards their “empowerment”.

He however did not mention the women’s reservation bill to which President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari had referred in their speeches on Saturday.

The two-day conference, which concluded on Sunday, was attended by women members of parliament and state legislatures and legilative councils, union ministers and present and former chief ministers.

In her speech at the valedictory session held in the central hall of parliament, former president Pratibha Devisingh Patil said children should be imparted values to respect women. She also stressed that women legislators should scrutinise provisions of gender budgeting.

Patil said women should be imparted training in self-protection and emphasised on their economic self-dependence. She said women legislators should come together in the fight against money and muscle power.

The first-of-its-kind conference adopted a resolution which the participants resolved to work for transparent, accountable and inclusive governance and to contribute to task of building a Resurgent India.

In his address, Modi said there was need to change the psychological feeling concerning women empowerment as empowerment is needed for those who are weak and not for those who are capable and strong.

“I am unable to understand who are men to empower (women). But the need is that we should understand our strength ourselves,” he said.

Noting that a country is enriched by the power of its women, he said multitasking, considered to be a very important element of modern day management, comes naturally to women.

Also noting his government had a large share of women ministers, he praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying her capability is widely recognised.

Congratulating Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for her leadership and vision to organise the conference, he said in addition to the structured component of such events, experiences shared informally among delegates were also extremely enriching.

“Women have higher success ratio despite the fewer opportunities they get in comparison to men,” Modi said, referring to Rwanda, saying that the east African country was brought back to its feet by women after massacres in which a large number of men were killed.

He urged women to work more towards srcutinising bills in parliament, saying they have a long-term perspective of events.

“I would urge Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, can you create an e-platform of women representatives,” he said.

Also admitting women are better in adopting technologies than men and “are specially gifted by god in this aspect”, he urged the women legislators to engage with their constituents using technology.

Shehnaz Ganai, a member of legislative council of Jammu and Kashmir who spoke before the concluding session, suggested that such conferences should be held in states, while former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said that women must raise their voice to get 33 percent reservation in parliament and assemblies.

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