Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Centre was committed to making a law on triple talaq despite facing "hurdles" from "hardliners" and opposition parties. He also asserted that women were the biggest beneficiaries of the many schemes launched by his government. "Nearly all big schemes are anyhow empowering women. The government has framed new schemes and rectified existing ones. Through the schemes and laws, we are moving towards women empowerment today. This has created trust," Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing National Convention of BJP Mahila Morcha in Gujarat:We've made efforts to ensure women get security and freedom from bias. Despite several difficulties, protests from extremists and opposition we're committed to bring a law on triple-talaq. pic.twitter.com/fFdHZI1WQF— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2018
Speaking at the fifth national convention of BJP Mahila Morcha in Gandhinagar, he targeted the Congress, saying women's welfare was never a priority of the previous governments. The prime minister also talked about his government's resolve to make the law on triple talaq.
"Despite all hurdles and opposition from hardliners and opposition parties, the government is committed to making a law on triple talaq," Modi said. The Lok Sabha is expected to take up the triple talaq Bill for discussion on December 27 during the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
The government had issued an ordinance in September pending the passage of the Bill in a revised form. The current Bill will supersede a previous Bill passed in the Lower House and held up in Rajya Sabha. In view of Opposition to the Bill from various parties, the government has cleared some amendments, including the introduction of a provision of bail for husbands who give instant triple talaq.
"We are committed so that Muslim women can get rid of a big life threat. No just that. In order for Muslim women to go to Haj (pilgrimage), we have removed the clause that men need to accompany them", he said.
The prime minister said the women of the country have given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the opportunity "with great hope and trust after trying all other options". "After exploring various options in the last six to seven decades, the people of the country -- our sisters and daughters -- reposed faith in the BJP. Previous governments did not do anything to provide even basic facilities to women and just made promises," Modi said.
Those who ruled India for 60-70 years failed to provide basic things for women's welfare, he said, adding the previous governments just kept waiting for the right time to usher in social reforms and change in attitude towards women.
"The country knows very well the approach and thinking of those who could not even have it as their priority to provide basic facilities to women in all these years. The country knows what their intentions and thoughts were.
"The political party that remained in power since decades only waited for time to come to bring about social changes and thinking regarding women. They were busy making promises", he said, targeting the Congress.
In the last four years, society's view towards girl child and women empowerment has undergone a positive change, the prime minister said. "For the first time, the government's flagship schemes are focusing on women," he said while referring to programmes like Swachh Bharat programme, Ujjwala scheme, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), wherein 75 per cent owners of the houses are women.
"Eighteen crore of the total Jan Dhan bank accounts belong to women," he said, adding that the male-female sex ratio has also improved, especially in Haryana, which has had a dubious record in the past.
Modi said the cabinet committee on security affairs for the first time included two women. "Besides, women have been inducted as fighter pilots in Air Force. There is a woman officer wing in the Navy. The government passed the anti-trafficking bill and capital punishment will be given to rape convicts of minors," he said.
Modi added that the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had initiated women's empowerment as president of the Ahmedabad Municipality before Independence. He said the BJP enjoys the confidence of the people of the country from panchayat-level to Parliament. Modi said his government was taking steps to empower women through schemes launched in the last four-and-half years.
Over the last four and a half years, lot of effort has been devoted towards women empowerment.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 22, 2018
Nari Shakti has been at the core of several initiatives of our Government. pic.twitter.com/tfiAbB5Fns
"Since the last many decades, you have struggled with women-related issues. This government is working (as it is) guided by the expression of this struggle. This is being expressed in the government's programmes since the last 4.5 years," he said.
He said the women's participation in the decision-making process in the country has gone up due to the efforts of his government.
"Schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission targeted women by providing them toilets or 'ijjat ghars' where they can go freely without fear of being stalked," the prime minister said.
Modi also said that his government brought down inflation, which came as a "relief to women, making it easier for them to manage the households".
The PM praised the BJP government in Haryana for improving the gender ratio, saying it was the result of the success of the 'Beti bachao, Beti padhao' initiative.
He also lauded the erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh for ensuring that courts pass orders in two to three months in cases of rape of minor girls.