Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan laid stress on gender sensitisation being taken beyond the governance mechanism and making it a people's movement. Development programmes should be evaluated using indicators for gender sensitivity.
Chouhan's observation was a part of his presentation on 'Women's social empowerment and improved access to services and livelihoods in Madhya Pradesh' before the World Bank's senior officers at Washington DC on Tuesday.
He was specially invited to the World Bank to speak on the strategic steps for socio-economic and political empowerment of women in Madhya Pradesh. As per a release, the chief economic advisor at World Bank for South Asia region Kalpana Kochar chaired the session. Director, gender and development, Jeni Klugman presided over the panel discussion.
Elaborating thought processes, designing of suitable schemes, implementation mechanism and political will for advancement of women Chouhan said the issue of empowerment of women must be looked at from the standpoint of social justice.
Listing the steps taken by the state government for empowerment of women Chouhan said improving leadership skills among women helped them have leadership roles in Panchayat Raj Institutions and their skills in local urban governance bodies proved instrumental. They drew up plans, implemented them and also monitored how productively money was being spent at the grassroots level, he added.
Chouhan said 56% representatives in these bodies were women against the provision of 50% reservation for them. It was also heartening to note that 150,000 women had assumed leadership roles. The women had been empowered to claim their rights to ownership of resources including land and property in their respective families. It was an attempt to give equal right to women in ownership of properties, he added.
Regarding educational empowerment of girl child, CM elaborated the salient features of Ladli Laxmi Yojana (scheme for educational empowerment of girls) that was launched in 2007. The scheme had made a profound impact on the mindset of masses, as birth of a girl child had become an occasion for celebration. In last five years, more than 1.2 million girls had been covered under the scheme.
Expressing concern over declining trend in child sex ratio despite sincere efforts, the Chief Minister said declining number of girl child was unacceptable for a sensitive leader. The alarming situation required urgent action and the result was the launch of Save Girl Child Campaign last year. The campaign had received momentum with an overwhelming support from all quarters - people's representatives, civil society and religious heads.