Over 100 journalists from across the country, representing various media organizations came together on a single platform at the second ‘All India Women Journalists’ Workshop’ organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in association with Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in New Delhi today. The first ‘All India Women Journalists’ Workshop’ was held in June this year. Today’s workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi . Minister of State, WCD , Smt Krishna Raj was also present along with other senior officers of the Ministry.
Women journalists from print, electronic and online media from the length and breadth of the country including small and regional media organizations participated in the conference.
Addressing the journalists, Smt. Maneka Gandhi said that the workshops are being organised by the Ministry to empower the women journalists so that they can act as agents of change especially in matters pertaining to women and child development. The effort of the Ministry is to connect to the journalists from the grassroots to make them active participants in the process of change, to receive feedback from them and also to receive ideas from the grassroots which will benefit the women and children, Smt Maneka Gandhi added. Journalists should also try to highlight success stories and find role models to enable the Ministry to give recognition to genuine people, especially to women contributing to community building in the field, she said.
Smt. Maneka Gandhi made a comprehensive presentation on the issues taken up by the WCD Ministry in the last two years. Smt. Gandhi highlighted the numerous ‘firsts’ of the Ministry of Women and Child Development including Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, setting up of One Stop Centres for women in distress, Mahila e-Haat, panic button on mobiles, guidelines for matrimonial websites, 33% reservation for women in police force, gender champion scheme, unique initiative with railways for missing children, comprehensive adoption reforms, junk food guidelines and many more such initiatives.
The WCD Minister also gave a brief overview of the initiatives in the pipeline like digitisation of anganwadis, direct benefit transfer to women, anti-trafficking Bill, draft National Policy for Women among others. The key focus is to reduce malnutrition for which the WCD Ministry is holding regular consultations with the states on improving the content of food being provided to the children in anganwadis and regular monitoring of their nutrition status, Smt Maneka Gandhi elaborated. The WCD Minister also held a question and answer session with the journalists on issues like child abuse, discrimination against women in various fields especially employment, financial empowerment of women, nutrition, malfunctioning of anganwadis in several states etc
The Minister of State for Women & Child Development, Smt. Krishna Raj addressed the journalists and exhorted them to carry forward the message of the Government for various interventions being made for women and children especially in saving the girl child. The government is committed to providing a safe life to women and protecting their dignity, and a lot of work is being undertaken to empower them and provide them health and education, she added. The media can become an important partner of the government in this endeavour, Smt Krishna Raj added.
Secretary, WCD Ms. Leena Nair said that the purpose of the workshop is to sensitise the women journalists and through them the entire society on gender issues . The media has a pivotal role to play in women’s empowerment by focusing on gender issues, she added. The Secretary further said that the briefing on the initiatives of the WCD Ministry will help the journalists to enable the women and children at the grassroots to take advantage of the government policies and programmes.
A presentation was also made on the key initiatives and achievements of the Government over the last two years. Measures like Jan Dhan Yojana, Nari Shakti, providing affordable housing to the poor, building infrastructure especially rail, roads and highways, stepping up power generation, swachch bharat, farmers’ welfare, new social security schemes etc were highlighted.
Three exhibitions were also organized at the venue showcasing the live monitoring system of Childline – Child Helpline 1098, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao as well as Real Time Monitoring of Anganwadi Centres.