Updated 8:04 am, Apr 28, 2021

Punjab Women To The Fore | Dalip MacCune | SNE

By  Dalip MacCune .
Jun 22, 2017


Punjab Government is working at exceptional pace to empower women in the state. It has become the first state in the country to give free education to girls in government schools and colleges and also to provide women reservation in the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and urban local bodies from 33 percent to 50 percent.
“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Kofi Annan

Women empowerment is necessary if our country wants to march towards becoming an economic power of the world. The condition of women has improved in the last few decades but much needs to be done to bring women at par with men. There is no doubt that women have started participating in almost all the spears of work. A huge population of women in India is still illiterate and unemployed. They need to be given equal opportunities at home, society and workplaces. They are very competent, talented, and intelligent like men all they need is little encouragement and support.

Punjab Government’s decision to give free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to PhD will go a long way to encourage parents to send their girls to get the education. “Educate a man and you educate an individual. Educate a woman and you educate a family.” A. Cripps. Empowering girls with education will help in reducing domestic violence, corruption, and poverty.

Punjab government will provide free textbooks to all the students in government schools from the next academic session. Books will also be made available online from where students can download for free and use them for reference.
The government is also reintroducing Nursery and LKG classes in government schools from next year. To make students with humble background familiar with digital technology, the Congress government will also provide free Wi-Fi for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

This new education policy will help Punjab improve literacy rate of women. According to 2011 census of India, the male literacy rate is 80.44% and female literacy rate is 70.73%. The new education policy of providing free education to girls in government schools and colleges will go a long way in encouraging girls with a humble background to complete their higher studies.

The Punjab government has also decided to increase women reservation in the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and urban local bodies from 33 percent to 50 percent. Women’s empowerment is intertwined with respect for human rights. Manpreet Singh Badal finance minister of Punjab said priority of the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government will be to restore the “lost glory” of the state and “We are committed to improve the per capita income of our people and generate new avenues of employment.” He further added that “The enhancement of women reservation quota in the PRIs and urban local bodies is aligned to a key election promise.”
The draft bill to amend the Panchayati Raj Act of 1994, Punjab Municipal Act of 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act of 1976 was placed in the budget session of the Punjab Assembly. “Punjab is the first state to give 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs, including contractual appointments, and 50 per cent reservation to them in Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies,” finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal told the media after the Cabinet meeting in Chandigarh.

Punjab government is formulating strategies and initiating processes to bring women into the mainstream of development. Women constitute a half population of the whole country and need to be independent in every area for the holistic development. The new government has provided a fresh and more capable environment to the women in Punjab so that they can take their own right decisions for the family, society and development of the country.


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