New government to empower women through entrepreneurship

KK Shailaja
KK Shailaja

Thiruvananthapuram: The new government will focus on drafting an action plan to make women self-sufficient through entrepreneurship, Minister K K Shailaja said.

Projects, including a Rs 300-crore International Trade Centre for women under the Gender Park, would be completed soon, she said. Capital would be arranged for eligible women to start business initiatives. The government would also tap the knowledge passed on by generations to ordinary women to begin such establishments.

The minister was addressing a webinar, ‘A Pro-woman Agenda for a New Kerala’, for women MLA designates, organized by Malayala Manorama.

Stating that all villages in Kerala have young women post-graduates, Minister K K Shailaja said it is the State’s responsibility to guide them forward.

Kerala is a state in India that has been following capitalist ideals. We can make several initiatives on our own. There will be certain constraints for such initiatives, but we will have to overcome them, the Minister said.

The webinar made several suggestions for the advancement of women in Kerala.

Women MLA designates, Minister K K Shailaja, K K Rema, Kanathil Jameela, K Shanthakumari, Prof R Bindu, Daleema Jojo, Veena George, C K Asha, J Chinchu Rani, and O S Ambika, attended the webinar. U Prathibha could not attend due to technical reasons.

The participants unanimously said that they would work for the social and economic betterment of women. Dr Jancy James, former vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University and Central University, Kasaragod, moderated the webinar.

The MLA designates made several suggestions for the woman-centric agenda:

Formation of a Kerala Women Assembly in the lines of Loka Kerala Sabha (Global Kerala Assembly), having the power to discuss serious women’s issues, and to make recommendations for drafting necessary legislations.

• Special legislation to reserve 33 per cent of seats to women in the state assemblies and Parliament, like in the case of local self-government bodies.

• Formation of a law to extend service conditions to women managing their households.

• Separate project to bring under the labour department those sectors that exploit women by employing them for meagre salaries.

• Revise curriculum to make children aware of gender equality.

• A legislation to make the collection of evidence in sexual assault cases, investigation and trial survivor-friendly.

• Self-employment centres for women in all constituencies.

• Setting up roadside convenience centres every 50 kms to make travel convenient for women.

• A legislation for providing support to women in all sectors, including IT.

• Stringent action against anti-women cyber attacks

• Special projects for encouraging women-friendly local bodies.

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