A section of women activists on Wednesday accused the Vasundhara Raje government of running an anti-women governance model and failing to curb gender-based violence.
“If we evaluate the last two years of the Raje government, we find that it has extensively worked against the interests of women. By bringing labour reforms, the government has pushed women in the unorganised sector that makes them more prone to exploitation,” said activist Annie Raja.
“Women from the Dalit and minority communities are being targeted in a systematic manner and this government has done nothing to prevent it,” she added. Raja was speaking at the 9th annual state conference of Rajasthan Progressive Women’s Federation in Jaipur.
She criticised the Raje government for fixing the minimum education qualification in panchayat elections, saying the move is designed to further alienate women from governance.
“One the one hand the government has done nothing to boost girls’ education in the state and on the other hand it has brought the minimum education qualification criteria for elections to further alienate our leadership from the governance,” said Raja.
Under the blanket organisation of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), the conference aimed at reviewing the past works of women organisations towards women empowerment and anti-gender violence.
“We have been working towards the empowerment of women in rural areas of Rajasthan. Whenever there were reports of violence against women, we have ensured that it got reported to police,” said Nisha Sidhu, an activist.
Activists also lashed out at the government for excluding the works of Ishmat Chugtai and Safdar Hashmi from the state primary education curriculum.
“Poems and short stories of a staunch and empowering feminist such as Chugtai have been removed from the state curriculum. Even a revolutionary poet such as Hashmi couldn’t get a place in the Hindutva minded ideology of this government. These portions have been removed on the grounds that Urdu language is often difficult for the kids to speak. This is a false propaganda run by the state machinery. We demand the works of Chugtai and Hashmi to be brought back in the school text books,” said Sidhu.
Women activists at the conference also attacked the BJP-led central and state governments for running what they called a “manuvadi” (patriarchal) system in the country.
“Young people are being killed in the name of honour in the state and there is complete lack of empathy from both the police and administration. Be it the choice of marriage or the choice of work, we have witnessed the patriarchal attitude of government being a barrier to the empowerment of women in the state,” said Sadhna Meena, an activist.