'Promoting women's leadership and economic empowerment is an absolute priority of my government and the focus will be for sustainable development, through their participation and leadership in all walks of life', said Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in his opening address on State Level function on International Women Day, organised by department of Social Justice and Empowerment and Directorate of Women and Child Development at hotel Peterhoff today.This year’s campaign theme, “Press for Progress”, could not have come at a better time, especially when efforts and progress have been registered at the regional and international level towards economically strengthening women, achieving gender equality, empowering women and elevating them at all levels, said the Chief Minister.'Though 8th March is celebrated as International Women's day once in a year but I dedicate all 365 days to women power', said the Chief Minister. The government is committed to respect and fulfil women’s aspirations and rights through gender equality, fair payment, non-discrimination, good working conditions and capacity building as underlined in the Swarnim Drishti Patra, 2017 (Vision Document) of the BJP.' Chief Minister said his government has initiated measures to empower women, so that they could be powered with their rights, they deserve besides providing them equal access to all economic resources, to address all forms of violence against women and to promote women as key agents for change and drivers of sustainable development. 'We want to construct a different world of work for women, as they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science', said Shri Jai Ram Thakur.
He said the government will empower women with legal knowledge and also offer legal help through , "Shashakt Stri Kendras' , besides opening more avenues of employment to them through these centres as enshrined in the vision document. The government is committed to provide all assistance to Mahila Mandals and self help groups.The Chief Minister said that 'Shaksht Stri Sabhas' would be organised twice a month in every district with elected women representatives and their suggestions and grievances would be taken up at appropriate levels in the government.The Chief Minister also stressed for implementing 'Beti bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme in an efficient manner so as to make it more effective. Educating Women paves the way for educating generations to come , he said. He also quoted the example of brave heart woman everester Bachendri Pal, who defied all odds to conquer the world's highest mountain peak and the first woman from India to do so. He also released a report of State Economic and Statistics Department, ‘Women’s Unpaid Economic Contribution Himachal Pradesh’. The percentage of estimated value of women’s unpaid work for various economic activities was estimated to the tune of Rs. 15939 crore and the total contribution of women for all type of unpaid work is estimated as Rs. 9479 per month per woman.'We have launched the 'Shakti App' and 'Guddia' helpline 1515 for prevention of crime and atrocities on women and it is the most significant decision, the government has taken immediately after assuming power. 'Our state was one of the first in providing reservation of 50 percent to women in Panchayati Raj institutions', he said.He exhorted to disseminate policies made for women in every corner of the state and to create awareness amongst them about their rights and legal provisions for safeguarding their interests.
He also honoured Jabna Chauhan, the youngest Pradhan of Gram Panchayat Tharjoon of Gohar Block of Seraj Constituency. She played pivotal role in total sanitation and cleanliness campaigns and against drug abuse in her Panchayat. She banned liquor completely in her Panchayat. Jabna had all praise from Prime Minister Shri Narinder Modi who also honoured her for the feat besides.Chief Minister honoured women for their contributions in the society. Kanchan Sharma for promoting culture and for social service, Arti Nirmohi, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Zaar for her contributions in social service, cleanliness drives and for her fight for women rights, both from Shimla district, Kumari Sita Devi from Kullu for fight against drug abuse, cleanliness drives and social welfare sector. He also honoured Mahila Mandal Kotli, Mandi and Himotkarash Sahitya Sanskriti Jan Kalyan Parishad, Una for empowering women and providing them all type of assistance.He also honoured 16 Anganwadi workers from the state.Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Rajeev Saizal also spoke on the occasion. He lauded the measures initiated by Chief Minister for protection and Empowerment of women. He also counted various schemes being implemented by the department for women welfare. Director Women and Child Welfare Department Shri Hans Raj welcomed and detailed about the schemes for welfare for women being implemented in the state.Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Smt. Kusum Sadret, Chairperson State Women Commission Dr. Daisy Thakur, Chairman Cooperative Bank Shri Khushi Ram Balnatah, Deputy Mayor Shri Rakesh Kumar Sharma Councillor’s, Chairperson State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Ms Kiran Dhanta, Chairperson Social Welfare Board Smt. Satya Parmar, Member HP State Child Development Council Smt. Kimmi Sood, Additional Chief Secretary Smt. Nisha Singh and other senior officers of the State Government and women representatives from various Boards and Corporation, Mahila Mandals were present on the occasion amongst others.