Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 10 said the enrolment of girls in science, technology, engineering and maths in India is at 43% today, more than countries like America, the U.K. and Germany. He also pitched for unicorns in self-help groups for women.
The number of girls studying upto high school and beyond has tripled over the last decade and in fields like medicine, sports, business and politics not only the participation of women has grown but they are leading from the front, he said addressing a post-budget webinar on Economic Empowerment of Women.
“The reflection of how we can take the country forward with the help of half of the country’s population and how we can increase the potential of women power is visible in this budget,” he said.
Observing that since the last nine years, the country has moved with a vision of women-led development, he said today the results of efforts for women’s empowerment are visible and we are feeling a revolutionary change in the social life of the country.
He said that the number of women compared to men is increasing in the country and the number of girls studying up to high school and beyond has tripled over the last 9-10 years.
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Mr Modi said that more than seven crore women have joined Self Help Groups (SHGs) over the last nine years, and their value creation can be understood by their capital requirement as these SHGs have taken loans worth ₹6.25 lakh crore.
“Can we make unicorns in self-help groups too, we have brought that vision in this year’s budget,” he said.
Unicorns are companies that reach a valuation of $1 billion without being listed on the stock market.
He noted that 70% of Mudra loan beneficiaries were women and women benefit majorly from schemes for the promotion of collateral free loans under schemes like SVANidhi
The PM highlighted that ₹80,000 crore allotted for the PM Awas Yojna was also a step in the direction of women empowerment as most of the three crore houses are in the name of women. “PM Awas has given women a new voice in economic decisions of the household”.
Dwelling on the transformation in the cooperative sector and the role of women therein, he said: “More than two lakh multi-purpose cooperatives, dairy cooperatives and fisheries cooperatives are to be formed in the coming years. A target has been set to connect one crore farmers with natural farming. Women farmers and producer groups can play a big role in this”.