Home >Politics >Policy >Narendra Modi calls for development led by women

It is time to move forward from women’s development to women-led development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the National Conference of Women Legislators in New Delhi on Sunday.

“If a survey is done, then I am sure that women will be more successful than men when given an opportunity to work," he said.

Last week, Modi proposed in Parliament that only female parliamentarians should speak in Parliament on 8 March—International Women’s Day.

Currently, out of 543 MPs in the Lok Sabha, only 62 are women. However, this is the most on record in the lower house. In the Rajya Sabha, there are 31 women out of 245 MPs.

The prime minister lauded the contribution of women in strengthening the nation. “A country is not made strong by its infrastructure. Every citizen of India strengthens the nation and mothers give strength to these citizens. It is the mothers who have been contributing to nation building for years," he said.

Modi also appealed to female MPs to embrace technology to connect with their respective constituencies. “Women adapt to technology much easier than men. I have received so many enriching thoughts and views through the Narendra Modi app and All of you can also use technology similarly to stay well-informed about your own areas," he said. Modi suggested that e-platforms be created for female MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

While appreciating their ability to multitask, the prime minister said that female legislators must further the cause of women’s empowerment in their respective constituencies by holding similar conferences with local women leaders.

Though analysts see Modi’s address as a progressive step, they feel that it is more important to see how his words translate into action.

“Such a statement coming from the prime minister is a big thing and I welcome this new pitch to women’s empowerment, but is it being actioned out? For instance, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme was launched quite a while ago and we are yet to see progress being made. Let this not be a government of mere slogans, but a government that also works towards fulfilling what it says," said New Delhi-based political analyst Manisha Priyam.

In his 15 August address last year, Modi spoke about the need to acknowledge the gender bias in Indian society and condemned the increasing incidence of rape in the country.

“In every home, parents ask daughters lots of questions as to where she is going, when will she return, and ask her to inform them when she reaches her destination. But have you ever asked your son where he is going, why is he going and who are his friends? After all, the person committing the rape is also someone’s son," Modi had said, placing on men the onus of violence against women.

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