Over 250 journalists from 30 States/UTs across the country, representing 120 media organizations came together on a single platform at the first ever ‘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. The workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. Women journalists from print, electronic and online media across the country including small and regional media organizations participated in the conference.
Addressing the journalists, Smt Maneka Gandhi said that we are all aware of the power and reach of the media and its ability act as agent of change. There is a need to empower the journalists with correct and timely information since journalists are a big social multiplier and can become agents of social change. She requested the journalists to act as a two-way communication channel, i.e. bring the voice from the grassroots to the government and vice versa.
Smt Maneka Gandhi made a comprehensive presentation on the issues taken up by the WCD Ministry in the last two years. She explained how for the first time the Ministry has been examining the issue of safety of women in a holistic manner, i.e. from saving the girls from gender biased sex selection to constructing shelter homes for widows. Similarly, the Ministry has been looking at care and protection of children in a comprehensive manner. In both cases a large number of interventions have been taken by the Ministry, she explained.
While making the presentation, 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 Minister also explained in detail the major initiatives and the success achieved in them over the last two years in these schemes/initiatives like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Adoption Reforms and CARINGS Portal, foster care, New initiatives in ICDS, One Stop Centres etc.
Smt Maneka Gandhi encouraged the journalists to give feedback and suggestion on all issues concerning women and children. The journalists brought to her notice cases and problems related to adoption, child nutrition, women’s safety, sexual harassment at the workplace and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme and gave suggestions for the women’s policy.
Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman made a presentation in the second half, covering the achievements and new initiatives of the government during the last two years. The women journalists highlighted various issues affecting the common man, during their interaction with the Commerce Minister.
Secretary, WCD Ms Leena Nair briefed the journalists about the history of the WCD Ministry, the scope of work of the Ministry and some of the key initiatives taken up recently.
An exhibition was also organized outside the venue showcasing the live monitoring system of Childline- Child Helpline 1098, and district level initiatives of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.