NEW DELHI, Dec 6 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, that Indian women are gradually evolving from participatory to leadership role and constitute an essential component of nation’s inclusive growth as envisaged by Prime Minister Modi.
Inaugurating a conference titled, “Women Leading Change in Health and Science in India” in New Delhi in the august presence of Ms. Melinda French Gates, Co-chair and Trustee Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Jitendra Singh said, women leaders are a crucial part of the new India growth story, as projects, programmes and policies are now moving from women-specific to women-led, or we can say from an era of women participation to an era of women leadership.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, that the women power has already arrived, but there is a need for change in mindset. He said that time has come to avail the change being led by the women, as they are increasingly becoming initiators of policies, rather than passive consumers of government initiatives.
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to Prime Minister’s recent statement that India cannot achieve success if 50 per cent of the population being women are locked at home. He quoted Modi as saying, “From financial inclusion to social security, quality healthcare to housing, education to entrepreneurship, many efforts have been made to put our Nari Shakti at the forefront of India’s development journey. These efforts will continue with even greater vigour in the coming times”.
Dr Jitendra Singh enumerated Eight Revolutionary Decisions of the Modi Government in the last Eight Years to empower women and make them lead India’s development journey and these are-A Door to Dignity through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Ensuring Smoke-Free Homes by Ujjwala Yojana, Swachh Bharat Mission to protect Women’s Dignity, Drinking Water at the Door-Step through Jal Jeevan Mission, Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through schemes like Stand-Up India and PM MUDRA Yojana, Giving Wings to Girl Child (Beti Bachao Beti Padhao), Fighting Malnutrition through POSHAN Abhiyaan and Providing Security to Muslim Women by abolishment of Triple Talaq,
The Minister said, nurturing and task-oriented leadership styles, management practices, and organisational orientation, particularly adopted by women leaders and entrepreneurs, has carved a niche for women leadership at both national and international levels.
Dr Jitendra Singh lauded the noble intentions of Gates Foundations for committing around 40 million USD till July, 2022 through its collaboration with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Grand Challenges India (implemented by BIRAC) and the Foundation has an additional commitment of 25 million USD for the next five years. The Minister said, conferences like “Leading Change: Women in Health and Science in India” are good opportunities to showcase emerging changes in the way leadership is practised and perceived in India and how women can be promoted to leadership roles with the right mentoring and support. These platforms will certainly help in creating momentum toward parity and more gender-inclusive culture and policies, he added.
In her address, Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare said that under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, there is a special focus on women and girl child and added the NDA government has provided a level-playing field to women along with men. She said, women are better equipped to take leadership roles when they are given self-esteem, an equal opportunity for decision-making, access to opportunities, and the ability to influence social change. Dr Pawar underlined that Modi government is taking pro-active steps to bring the women workforce at par with the men workforce in all aspect.
Melinda French Gates said that policies designed for women must be made by women themselves. She asserted that the women must have a greater say in the decision-making process for its ultimate success.
Dr Rajesh S. Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology & Chairperson, BIRAC said that Department of Biotechnology always took positive endeavours to put women leaders at the top of decision-making process. He said, women entrepreneurs in DBT are playing an important role and 30 percent of them are supported by BIRAC.
Dr Alka Sharma, Senior Adviser, DBT & Managing Director, BIRAC said that role of women in India’s healthcare system is recognized globally. She recalled that India’s one million all-women Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers, were honoured with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General’s Global Health Leaders Award 2022 for their crucial role in providing direct access to healthcare facilities in rural areas and their magnificent efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Amie Batson, Executive Director, WomenLift Health said, when India and the world is facing unprecedented challenges like climate crisis, covid-19 or future health challenges, India’s role will be critical to address those challenges. He said, investments in technical solutions are not enough, but efforts should be made to create change leaders, especially the women change leaders.