The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are eyeing women as their prime votebank in the ensuing Punjab assembly polls. Both parties have drawn up separate manifestos for women’s empowerment.
Congress’ manifesto is named “Gender Manifesto” and includes promises like reservation of women in government jobs, skill development programmes and free education among other things. AAP is still in the process of completing the women’s manifesto and is also drawing up one focusing on the Dalit community.
While the Congress will declare its manifesto this month itself, AAP will unveil its manifesto in December.
The gender manifesto is separate from the main manifesto, but both will be released together. A senior Congress politician told Indian Express, “We will be promising 33 per cent reservation in state government jobs for women in Punjab. Apart from that, education of the girl child will be completely free of cost till PhD level.”
Widows of farmers who have committed suicide in the state will also get some relief through the Congress manifesto as they will be given self-employment opportunities through skill development. The Congress is also proposing crisis centres where women who have undergone any sexual abuse will receive both medical and legal aid.
“At these centres, women affected by any sort of violence will be given free legal and medical aid. The Punjab State Commission for Women will be totally revamped and given teeth to act,” said a Congress source.
AAP is claiming that its manifesto will be better for women than that of the Congress. “From safety and dignity of women to making her financially independent, we will include everything in our women’s manifesto. Unlike Congress, our manifesto hasn’t been made while sitting in AC rooms but by talking to women at the grassroots. It will be launched after the Dalits’ manifesto and we are still in process of holding dialogues with women. Installing CCTV cameras in buses and other places will be top priority.”
Picture credit- Lookism