NEW DELHI: Union Textiles and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Monday said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the narrative has shifted from women’s development to women-led development.

She also stated that now women not only lead change for themselves but also for other women, adding that for the first time Gender Inclusion Fund was introduced into the National Education policy. “Under PM’s leadership, the narrative has shifted from women’s development to women-led development. We now lead change not just for us but also for other women. Because of this, for the 1st time in National Education policy’s history, we have Gender Inclusion Fund”, said the Union Minister while addressing a gathering of women MPs and journalists on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

She further said, “There are still skies to touch. Our flag and Constitution are one despite being from different political ideologies.”

“Women who have gathered here today are often celebrated societally for our strength and achievements. Not many look at the chip on our shoulders, a chip on which we falter at times publically and on social media. Where the impact is strong as we get ‘trolled’ but also we get opportunities in the August House where irrespective of our ideologies, we speak on issues that bring transformation”, added Irani.

Addressing the same event, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Monday said nuanced discrimination, even in language, is often accepted and not objected to, due to its subtlety. She added that language needs to be gender-sensitive and wrong language shouldn’t be encouraged.

“Language of communication has to be gender-sensitive. We stand up each time for use of the right language. We come across language both formal and informal that doesn’t recognise an implicit gender bias. We need to say language needs to be gender-sensitive. We shouldn’t encourage such language,” said Sitharaman while addressing a gathering of women MPs and journalists.

Giving an example she quoted a popular Hindi expression the Union Finance Minister said, “Arey main choodi pehen ke baitha hoon kya?” (Am I just sitting here wearing bangles like a woman?) That means you don’t have courage. Each one of us has to say that we don’t accept such language and expressions.”

Another problem she spoke about was facing different terms of engagement for both genders. “We are MPs, but we are often treated as women first, and MPs later. We have to make a conscious attempt to change these things. We need to do more,” she said.

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