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Having women in decision-making process will attune Govt policies to their needs: Dr Kamaal

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Shameema Firdous asks Party’s Women DDC to become bridge between people and party

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday underlined the indispensability of women’s stake in development and policymaking, saying the party has been persistently working towards removing the under-representation of women in politics to have policies more attuned to women’s needs.

According to the NC spokesperson, this was stated by Party’s Additional General Secretary, Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, while addressing a meeting of women DDC members of Kashmir Province. The meet was convened by the Party Women’s Wing headed by state women’s wing President Advocate Shameema Firdous.  Besides Provincial President Women’s Wing Er. Sabiya Qadri, Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar, YNC Provincial President Salman Ali Sagar, Provincial Vice President Syed Tauqeer Ahmed, District President Srinagar Peer Afaq Ahmed, Ahsan Pardesi, Shabir Ahmed, Neelofar Masood, Aisha Jammel, Khalida Ji, Asiya Ji were also present. Along with other DDC members and women councilors, DDC Chairperson Ganderbal Nuzhat Ishfaq also attended the meet.

In his address, Dr. Kamal said that Jammu and Kashmir under the capable leadership of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, women of Kashmir benefited from a number of economic and educational opportunities in the decades that followed independence. He said the struggle of Madre Maharban bore anticipated results in improving women’s knowledge, self-confidence, voice and political and social standing. He stated that the examples of Madre Maharban also created a cycle marked by greater women’s representation in polity, education, health services, and other sectors. He said the indigenous; grass-roots women’s movement led by Madre Meharban that emerged in Kashmir was nationally and globally acclaimed.

Exhorting the Women DDCs, Kamal said that it was good to see women be part of the decision-making process, saying the measure will help attune the policies and development agenda to the needs and requirements of Women. “I hope that the Women DDCs members will utilize the democratic spaces which they have occupied in a positive manner to realize the party’s manifesto by becoming a bridge between people and the party,” he said.

In her address, Party Women’s Wing State President Shameema Firdous alluded to the role played by the party in empowering women and removing gender discrimination and said it was during the successive governments of NC led by Dr. Farooq Sahib, and Omar Sahib that women were given 33% quota in jobs and 50% seats were reserved in MBBS. She added that the revolutionary gender-neutral voting in terms of adult franchise and sustained gender-neutral policies of NC went a long way in securing women their due rights in society.

She said that the incumbent ruling Government has reduced itself to a jackboot to push a new undemocratic model down the throats of the people of Jammu and Kashmir superseding their wishes and aspirations. The new model in place in Jammu and Kashmir is bereft of democratic moorings with no say of Muslims, especially Kashmiri Muslims in the decision-making process.  She added that the much-touted Job extravaganza, unparallel Development, flood of investment as was promised by the GOI while shearing Jammu and Kashmir of its status is yet to see the light of the day. “The barrage of promises on the revolutionizing development and investment in Jammu and Kashmir has also fallen flat. The grand reality on the ground is different, leave aside development and the much-touted investment; the measures have brought the entire region into a grinding halt. People are absolutely clueless as to where to have their problems addressed. The unrelated bureaucracy which has its hands on the helms of power in Jammu and Kashmir has only been busy changing stripes among themselves leaving the people to fend for themselves when they needed government support be it during the COVID-19 crises and successive clampdowns since 2019. The poor state of civic amenities, crumbling infrastructure, soaring unemployment, unaccountability at all government installations, offices, and other offices is also a telling indictment of the abject failure of the unrelated bureaucrats to deliver on ground. The situation is becoming dire with each passing day. And it is the local Kashmir Muslim women who are at the receiving end of all this,” she said.

She said the wanton discrimination meted out to Kashmiri youth in job selections is a telling indictment of that brazen bias. From being the most empowered state in the country to a state of being a UT, the drastic turn of events has been very humiliating for  Kashmiri Muslims, who are feeling alienated in their own land, she said. “The rights and privileges of Kashmiri Muslims have been the first casualty of this new undemocratic project.  Nowadays it is a rare sight to see Kashmiri Muslims in power circles, in job selection lists. The recent J&K bank selection list is a case in point. The consequences of such an undemocratic project would not augur well for the prized freedom, stability and strength of our country. Having such a project in place in Jammu and Kashmir will fester more alienation in the people especially the youth and put the entire region on the path of terminal alienation,” she added.

She impressed upon the women DDC members to live up to their obligations to ensure the evenhanded development of their constituencies. She also extolled them to use the democratic space to alleviate the suffering of women at domestic level as well. She also urged the party’s Women DDCs to take party’s manifesto to every doorstep.

Later on, the occasion Party Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, who was guest of honor on the occasion distributed membership coupons among the DDC members.

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