Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launched the party’s manifesto for women for the upcoming UP Assembly polls at a function in Lucknow on Wednesday, making a slew of promises including 40 per cent reservation for women in government jobs if her party is voted to power.
“I hope that this is not the last manifesto for women in the country. I hope that other political parties take a leaf out of this, and release manifestos for women,” Priyanka said.
“We have given 40 per cent reservation to women in tickets in the upcoming polls so that women empowerment is not just restricted to papers, and it actually happens. So far, talks of women empowerment is mostly restricted to pre-poll promises and on paper. When women will become participants in politics, then it will translate to change on the ground. Before this, the Congress gave 33 per cent reservation for women in Panchayati Raj. That is where this began. The Congress gave the country the first female Prime Minister and the first female Uttar Pradesh CM Sucheta Kripalani,” she said.
On the Congress’s decision to give 40 per cent poll tickets to women, Priyanka said her party wanted to “fix the imbalance is politics”. “In the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, the representation of women is less than 14 per cent. When 40 per cent women fight elections, then this number will increase and hopefully in the coming time, it will increase in Lok Sabha too when the elections come,” she said.
Highlighting various pledges listed in the manifesto for women empowerment, the Congress general secretary said, “The share of working women in UP is 9.4 per cent. In our manifesto, we have written that 40 per cent reservation will be given to women in new government jobs. Out of the 20 lakh jobs promised by us, 8 lakh will be for women,” she pledged.
Priyanka also said that establishments that will provide 50 per cent jobs to women will get special waiver on taxes and benefits. “Women-run small businesses will get tax refund and waivers. Special hostels with modern facilities will be established in 25 cities for working women,” she said.
She also promised free legal help to women in the state if they need it.
The Congress’s women manifesto for the upcoming UP polls is divided into six categories – Swabhiman (Self-respect), Swawlamban (Independence), Shiksha (Education), Samman (Respect), Suraksha (Security), and Sehat (Health). These are some of the key manifesto provisions:
* 40 per cent tickets for women in upcoming polls in UP
* 40 per cent of 20 lakh jobs the party promises to create if voted to power
to be given to women
* Businesses with more than 50 per cent female workforce to get special incentives, including tax exemptions
* Special quota for women in male-centric professions
* Mandatory creche facility at all government offices, while private offices will be encouraged to open up creches
* Asha and Anganwadi workers to get a honorarium of Rs 10,000 per month
* 40 percent reservation for women in MNREGA work
* 50 per cent ration shops in state to be run and managed by women
* Students of class 12 to be given smartphone, while those pursuing graduation will be given a scooty
* Scholarships for girls in secondary schools
* Residential schools for girls to be set up in all 75 districts of the state
* Funded programmes for single mothers in vocational training
* Free public transport for women
* Monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for elderly women
* Special training programmes for widowed women
* Three free gas cylinders in a year to every woman in the state
* 25 per cent jobs to women in police force. Female constables to be posted in all police stations
* Special Commission comprising six women (two judges, two activists, two government officials) to be formed at the state level to look into the cases of harassment of women and other anti-women crimes
* A special legal cell in all districts to look into crimes against women
Free medical treatment of up to Rs 10 lakh per family to be given for all diseases
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