Vice President Naidu bats for Women’s Reservation Bill

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called on all states to back a bill that gives women reservation in state legislatures and both houses of Parliament.

The Women’s Reservation Bill, that seeks to provide women 33 per cent reservation, will help empower women, he said.

Naidu, who arrived here earlier in the day to take part in a state-level convention of women’s self-help groups (SHGs), said: “Women are not helpless anymore, they are strong, and daughters are not a burden but a boon. They are performing their duties in various fields.”

Citing the examples of some of the women in top positions in the government, he said: “The country’s Defence Minister is Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister is Sushma Swaraj and Speaker of the Lok Sabha is Sumitra Mahajan — all women. In fact, women’s contribution to the freedom struggle is also immense.”

Naidu said empowering women has brought about a massive change in the way society works but added that there is a need to change old attitudes.

Madhya Pradesh has made history in this regard and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s move to help the SHGs get bank loans is commendable, he said. Stressing that women are respected in India, he said that is the reason it’s called Bharat Mata.

If women are given an opportunity to get ahead in life, they can bring a massive change to society and can protect their rights themselves, he said, adding that a 50 per cent quota for women in government jobs and local government bodies will be good for society.

Addressing the event, the Chief Minister said the SGH federation will be allowed to run the take home ration manufacturing factory. And markets will be set up in big cities to sell their products.

Chouhan also said the state government will stand guarantee for loans up to Rs 5 crore taken by the federation.

Earlier in the day, Naidu was received at the airport by Chouhan, his wife and other ministers. The Chief Minister ceremonially welcomed the Vice President by draping an ‘ang vastra’ around his shoulders and put a khadi cotton garland around his neck.

Earlier, accusing Chouhan of failing to fulfil promises made in the earlier conventions, the Congress has asked him to provide details about the implementation.