Dr. Mohini Giri and the National Women Organization Meet with Mrs. Ghandi to Ensure Women's Rights in India
The highest priority in all activity is the empowerment of women. Women
primary responsibility for family health, education and nutrition-yet,
tradition, culture and law they are denied the means, information and
freedom of action to fulfill their responsibility.
In order to mobilize and implement the various schemes some of us in the
National Women Organization met Mrs. Gandhi to include the following in
Common Minimum Program.
- A firm commitment to the passage of and implementation of the Women's
- Commitment to the passage of Protection against Domestic Violence
with the amendments suggested by the women's organization and
of the various recommendations of the Law.
Commission to reform laws concerning women.
- Universalisation of PDS; Joint Pattas for women in land distributed
special work scheme for poor women in rural and urban areas.
- Implementation of the non coercive non targeted national population
policy as opposed to the coercive anti woman policies in place in many
states and strict implementation of the laws against sex selection and
determination techniques and tests.
- Commitment against the practice of dowry
- To strenthan the Panchyati Raj.
You would happy to know that the text of the Common Minimum Program,
the new Government has implemented is as follows:
The UPA Government will ensure that all funds given to States for
alleviation and rural development schemes by panchyats are neither
nor diverted. Monitoring will be strict. In addition, after consultation
with States, the UPA Government will consider crediting elected
such funds directly.
Devolution of funds will be accompanied by similar devolution of
and functionaries as well. Regular elections to panchayat bodies will be
ensured and the amended Act in respect of the Fifth and Sixth Schedule
will be implemented.
The UPA Government will ensure that the Gram Sabha is empowered to
the foundation of Panchyati Raj.
Women and Children
The UPA Government will take the lead to introduce legislation for
reservation for women in Vidhan Sabhas and in the Lok Sabha. Legislation
domestic violence and against gender discrimination will be enacted.
The UPA Government will ensure that at least one-third of all funds
into panchayats will be earmarked for programmes for the development of
women and children. Village women and their associations will be
to assume responsibilities for all development schemes relating to
water, sanitation, primary education, health and nutrition.
Complete legal equality for women in all spheres will be made a
reality, especially by removing discriminatory legislation and by
new legislation that gives women, for instance, equal rights of
assets like house and land.
The UPA Government will bring about a major expansion in schemes for
finance based on self-help groups, particularly in the backward and
ecologically fragile areas of the country.
The UPA Government is committed to replicating all over the country the
success that some southern and other States have had in family planning. A
sharply targeted population control programme will be launched in the
150-odd high-fertility districts. The UPA Government recognizes that
that achieve success in family planning cannot be penalised.
The UPA Government will protect the rights of children, strive for the
elimination of child labour, ensure facilities for schooling and special
care to the girl child.
Food and Nutrition Security
The UPA will work out, in the next three months, a comprehensive medium-
term strategy for food and nutrition security. The objective will be to
towards universal food security over time, if found feasible.
The UPA Government will strengthen the Public Distribution System (PDS),
particularly in the poorest and backward blocks of the country, and also
involve women's and ex-servicemen's cooperatives in its management.
schemes to reach food grains to the most destitute and infirm will be
launched. Grain banks in chronically food-scarce areas will be
Antyodaya cards for all households at risk of hunger will be introduced.
The UPA Government will bring about major improvements in the
the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to control inefficiencies that
the food subsidy burden.
Nutrition programmes, particularly for the girl child, will be expanded
I am sending this to you, to ascertain the major work of the Hunger
With best regards,
Dr. V. Mohini Giri
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