Vows to amend service rules to reserve 33% posts in Central government for women

The Congress on Wednesday pledged to promote employment and business opportunities for women and bridge the gender pay gap. The party also promised to amend the service rules to reserve 33% of appointments to posts in the Central government for women.

“The Congress manifesto has addressed major issues concerning women such as gender-based crimes, economic empowerment, and gender roles, including rights of transgenders,” said Sushmita Dev, All India Mahila Congress president and Lok Sabha MP from Silchar, Assam. She was addressing a press conference in the city.

Fiscal incentives

Ms. Dev said, “We will provide fiscal incentives to businesses that employ a certain percentage of women as well as service rules will be amended to reserve 33% posts for women in Central government. We will also be taking a review of the laws against sexual harassment at workplaces and it will be extended to all workplaces.”

Ms. Dev said that the Maternity Benefit Act, 2017, introduced by the NDA government had rendered women less employable. She also mentioned that the NDA government had cut funding to the National Crèche Scheme, impacting the lives of women. She promised that the party would increase the number of anganwadis for taking care of children. She also spoke about increasing the number of POCSO courts, making sure that special economic zones have working women hostels, and transferring ₹6,000 every month into bank accounts of poor women under the Nyuntam Aay Yojana.

On the Centre’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana, she said, “The scheme is something which the BJP is proud of. However, when I asked a question on January 4 on how much funds have been allotted for the scheme and its break-up, I got a reply that the impact assessment of this scheme has not yet been done. The government has not calculated the success or failure rate, and there is no proof or data to declare it a success or a failure.”

Focus on human rights

Asked what key changes would be made to the Transgender Bill if the Congress is voted to power, Ms. Dev said, “We will advocate for the right to self-determination, which is the exact opposite of the Bill introduced by the BJP. We will also make sure that a small portion of jobs and school and college admissions is reserved for transgenders. We will not push for the Bill to be passed before making it compliant to human rights guidelines.”

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