Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the second day of the first ever national conference of women legislators and law makers in Delhi today. Modi will address the women members of state assemblies and parliament in his valedictory speech. The two-day national conference of women law makers will conclude today.
On Saturday morning President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the ‘National Conference on Women Legislators: Building Resurgent India’ at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The two-day event is being hosted by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ahead of International Women’s Day.
Apart from the President, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan among other delegates were all present at the event.
Before the Plenary session began, President Mukherjee, VP Ansari and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan addressed the conference. PM Modi is scheduled to address the conference at the valedictory session on Sunday evening. Mahajan will deliver the closing remarks at that event after PM Modi speaks.
The aim of the event is to bring top women political leaders on a single platform. The event will provide women legislators a platform to interact with their counterparts from across the country along with women Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, MPs, jurists and bureaucrats.
Several important issues were raised by the women delegates at the conference. Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Sushma Swaraj, among others were present at the event. But Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was missing.
The conference features a plenary session and three other sessions on ‘Social Development’, ‘Economic Development’ and ‘Better Governance and Legislation’.
Making a strong pitch for women’s empowerment, both President Mukherjee and VP Ansari called for the passage of the Women Reservation Bill.
President Mukherjee said it was a sad commentary on India that since the first general election in 1952, India has not been able to ensure women’s representation in Parliament over 12 per cent.
“Women have mostly been trusted to handle women issues. So in the Parliamentary financial committees which together have 74 members, there are just two women. Parliamentary Standing Committee on finance has no woman member, rail committee has one woman, Home Affairs two and Defence one. However, in the committee on women’s empowerment, 28 of 30 members are women,” said the Vice President in his speech.
The Vice President also referred to steps taken in some states to introduce educational qualifications as a condition to contest panchayat elections. He added that these measures were loaded against women.
“These statutory requirements introduced by some states are loaded against women and need serious reflection,” the VP added.
Around 300 women MP and MLAs are participating in the event.
There are some 100 women MPs, including ministers, along with 400 MLAs and ministers in various states.
(With inputs from PTI)