States where women are progressing are developing faster, says Rahul Gandhi
If India does not empower women, the nation will only be half a superpower: Rahul Gandhi
Women's safety is a priority for the Congress and the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 is a step towards addressing this issue
TUMKUR, Karnataka, Feb 16 – Reiterating the Congress' focus on women's empowerment, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi today outlined the party's efforts to bring women into the country's governance process.
Addressing a large gathering of women at Tumkurearlier today he said that it is the Congress party that had provided 50 percent reservation to women in the Panchayats, and the journey to greater empowerment was still on.
“If we don't empower women, our country will can only be half a superpower. While we are already talking about 33% reservation in LokSabha, I will ensure that other capable women leaders are brought into governance through the Congress party," he said.
Mr. Gandhi also lauded the work being done in Tumkurand said that states where women are given opportunities to progress were developing faster.
He highlighted the crucial role played by Congress Chief Minister S.M. Krishna in providing financial independence to local women in Karnataka, through Self Help Groups (SHG). Currently, 20 lakh women in Karnataka are associated with over one lakh self-help groups and Mr Gandhi said the state has set the benchmark for the rest of India, including his constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Delving into one of the key issues facing India, Mr. Gandhi said, “Women's security is one of the biggest challenges facing India. I want all of you to feel safe when you walk on the street in the evening, or board a bus. The Criminal Law Amendment Act is a step in that direction."
Mr Gandhi said the party has ensured that families living below poverty line are provided with 30 kg rice at a subsidized price of Re. 1 per kg, and more recently the delisting of vegetables and fruits from the APMC Act has been a welcome move for women across the country.
The rally followed the inauguration of the 6-lane Tumkur-Chitradurga highway on NH4 by Mr Gandhi.
This development, coupled with UPA's recent declaration of Tumkur as a National Investment Manufacturing Zone, will provide the youth studying at engineering colleges in Tumkur and surrounding areas with local employment opportunities in the near future.