Ruchira Kamboj says India moving towards Viksit Bharat by 2047 has laser focus on women-led development

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NEW YORK : India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, highlighted the country’s focus on women-led development, through which the country is championing gender equality globally and moving towards Viksit Bharat by 2047.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Viksit Bharat or a fully developed India, necessitates the full and equal participation of women. Kamboj was addressing at special event organized by the Mission of India on the margins of the Commission on the Status of Women on Tuesday.

She stressed that under PM Modi’s leadership, India’s G20 presidency had ushered in a new era of empowerment with a profound focus on women-led development, marking a change.

This is development and growth being led by women in India, Kamboj said.

“So through the concept of Amrit Kal, where Nari Shakti shines, India last year guided the G20 towards championing women’s progress globally,” she said.

Kamboj reiterated that India’s presidency of the G20 ensured six impactful international conferences and facilitated 86 virtual meetings, becoming a beacon of hope for gender equality.

“India aims for Viksit Bharat by 2047, necessitating the full and equal participation of women. The government of India recognizes the immense power of women’s meaningful participation, shifting from women’s development, to women-led development,” she said.

We hope to ensure that women will lead the way to a developed nation as contributors, she added.

Emphasizing its importance as contributors, rather than passive recipients of development benefits, Kamboj said, “A multifaceted strategy is being implemented to empower women by addressing their health, safety, education, employment and entrepreneurship–the full pectrum, so to speak.”
These initiatives aim to ensure gender justice, equality and the full participation of women in shaping India’s socio-economic, political and cultural landscape.

She said that a robust network of 759 one-stop centers provides integrated support and assistance, benefiting over 8.3 lakh women.

Giving another example, Kamboj said that the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program, which targets the root causes to prevent female feticide, results in an improved sex ratio at birth from 918 to 933 females per 1000 males.

“Our education system promotes gender sensitive curriculum and need based education through the new education policy, resulting in parity in the gross enrollment ratio for girls and boys in higher education,” she added.

Further, she stressed that India boasts one of the highest proportions of women enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines globally, at 43 per cent.

Highlighting gendered poverty, she said that India promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth through initiatives like the JAM Trinity and financial inclusion targets.

Women hold over 55 per cent of accounts opened under the Prime Minister’s Jandhan Yojna.

Underscoring the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharta Abhyan, she stressed that, recognising the importance of digital literacy, over 52 per cent women have enrolled in the abhyan.

Moreover, self-help groups connect around 100 million women, transforming the rural economic landscape and over four crore houses have been built for the poorest, with benefits availed only if they are in a woman’s name or, at the very least, in joint names.

Highlighting the budgeting, Kamboj said that it has significant increases, with the latest allocation for this financial year exceeding USD 37.3 billion.

“Maternal health remains a priority, with a significant decline in India currently in the maternal mortality ratio from 167 to 97. Frontline health care through the Asha program and the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana supports expectant mothers with financial support provided to over 3.31 crore mothers,” she said.

Further highlighting the Mudra Yojana, she said that collateral-free loans through the Yojna support women entrepreneurs with one out of five non farm businesses and 45 per cent of manufacturing enterprises led by women.

The Stand Up India and Startup India schemes have benefited women entrepreneurs, with 10 per cent of funds reserved for women-led startups.
“India has also provided access to clean cooking fuel for ten crore households, safe tap water for 14 crore households and constructed over 13 crore household toilets, reducing time, poverty and the care burden on women,” she stressed.

Moreover, she said that sanitary napkins are now 100 per cent tax exempt in India and is being sold through government stores at rupees one per pad, enhancing accessibility.

Turning to the presence of elected women representatives, she highlighted that India boasts over 14 lakh elected women representatives, making up 46 per cent of the total number of representatives in panchayats and municipal corporations.

The women’s reservation bill 2023, reserves one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, empowering women leaders from panchayats, which are at the grassroots level, to the parliament at the center.

Emphasising that today, women in India are conquering the skies, she said, “India has 15 per cent women pilots in civil aviation, which is significantly higher than the global average of 5 per cent.”

“The numbers are growing every day. But we will not stop here. We have miles to go to realize the dream of a developed India,” Kamboj added.
‘We envision an India where women are self empowered and not dependent on anyone, where they can make independent decisions and take risks without fear,” she said. (ANI)

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