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  • I greet all women on International Women’s Day today. Let us discuss about the dreams and the realities of women. I am thankful to technology that I am able to speak to lakhs of sisters across the country. If these sisters are determined that they would take care of India’s destiny, all vote banks would fail.
  • Women have been contributing across ages in nation building. However, discrimination is something that is eating away the plinth of the country. First we have to change the way we look at women. Women should be free not to compromise on certain things like birth, education, marriage, family planning, career. She should have the freedom to life.
  • Women are behind by 20% in terms of literacy visa vie men. Mahatma Gandhi had said that if a man studies, an individual studies, but if a woman studies, 2 families study and generations study. Gujarat was in a very bad state when I became the Chief Minister. But now me and my cabinet go to villages and request the families to send their women to school. I have been doing this since 12 years.
  • Education is one, but providing basic facilities like toilets is also important. Only policies are not enough, facilities are important too. There should be separate facilities for women everywhere-from police stations to schools.
  • The Centre has set up Rs 1000 crore for the Nirbhaya fund and has added money to it, but as far as I know not a single penny has been spent for women. There are laws for everything but that is not enough. We need speedy justice to create fear in those who commit crime against women.We need to work on improving the image of the police in India. We have started a police university-Raksha Shakti University- so that they know what are their responsibilities, get an insight into police services and not just train physically. Moreover, police stations should have more women constables so that women do not feel insecure if they have to go to the police.
  • If India has to increase its GDP, we have to increase the participation of women in our economy. Economic freedom plays a very important role in empowering women.Women are good at repaying loans, we must ensure flow of finances to women’s self-help groups and cottage industries.
  • All the gifts I get as CM are given to Government treasury which are then auctioned and the proceeds go towards educating girls.
  • Women have proved their abilities in governance. Reforms have been observed and there have been considerable changes in the society. They should become an integral part of decision-making process.
  • Women power is being celebrated in Indian mythology and history. So, this is not rocket science in our country. I thank the sisters for their suggestion and questions, which can help in the progress and development of the country.