Bhubaneswar: Noting that no society can progress without empowering its women, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought suggestions to further strengthen the system.
Patnaik said this while addressing the two-day national-level conference, organised by the Odisha State Women’s Commission in Bhubaneswar on Friday. He stressed on representation of women in democratic institutions as it plays a major role in their empowerment.
For two days, experts in women’s issues will deliberate on various issues and come out with workable solutions and findings, Patnaik said, adding: “My Government is open to accept any suggestion to further strengthen our system”.
He said the representation of women in institutions from the grassroots panchayats level to the Assembly and Parliament holds importance for the government.
Odisha has reserved 50 per cent seats for women in panchayats. In the recently concluded local body elections, more than 55 per cent women were elected, while 21 out of 30 district presidents are women. In a first by any political party, BJD reserved one third of seats for women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik said that the BJD government has all along held that no household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women. At the core of our key initiatives is the effort to make girls and women financially independent and truly empowered, the chief minister said.
He said that the state government’s Mamata scheme empowers pregnant women by assuring them financial support. The health assurance scheme BSKY (Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana) has a 10 lakh coverage for women. Similarly, Sudakshya scheme provides quality technical education to girls while land right documents are issued in the name of women, he said.
Patnaik also highlighted his government’s flagship programme of Mission Shakti which encompasses 70 lakh women in all habitations across the state. It is helping women emerge as decision makers and torch bearers of a new inclusive Odisha, he said.