Every year, International Women’s Day on March 8 gives us an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of women apart from reflecting what societies and governments should strive for when it comes to addressing the challenges they still face.
In recent years, due to some proactive measures of the Modi government, women have got relief on many counts. In many instances their decades of wait ended with the problem finally getting addressed. Let’s recollect some of them on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
- Even after seven decades of Independence, women in rural India had to get up early, even before the sun got a chance to rise to go so that attend nature’s call due to lack of toilets. It was a humiliating experience especially for women, which also put their life at considerable risk. With the Modi government building nearly 10 crore household toilets across India, this ordeal came to an end for innumerable women. These Swachh Bharat toilets are today rightly called as ‘Izzat ghar’. Similarly, separate toilets for girl students have been ensured in all government schools.
- For all the aspirational women who work in salaried jobs, a dilemma would come when they were forced to choose between the job they love and their motherhood duty. The Modi government gave a big relief by extending maternity leaves provision for women employees upto 26 weeks, extending it from the 12 weeks earlier.
- At the grassroots level, the burden of women’s household duties has been reduced to a great extent. Ujjwala scheme is the brightest example. Earlier, women were forced to spend their productive time in search of firewood and were also forced to inhale smoke which was equal to burning of 100 cigarettes. Gas cylinders thanks to the Ujjwala Yojana have given great relief to their lives. This scheme has more than 8 crore beneficiaries. Now, in the second term, Jal Jeevan Mission is working to further unburden women’s lives, since they are the ones who spend time in rural India to bring water home from far away places. Jal Jeevan Mission will provide piped water connection to all the households.
- For decades, women from the Muslim community were forced to live under constant fear and sometimes abuse because of the practice of instant triple talaq. The Modi government brought relief to them by bringing a law banning the instant triple talaq practice. Men in the community can no longer take their spouses for granted now.
- It was a decade-old demand that there should be equal opportunity for women in the armed forces at all levels. In his address to the nation on Independence Day of 2018, PM Modi announced permanent commission for women in armed forces.