Congress to seek inputs for 2014 manifesto

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) The Congress sought views from NGOs to include women's issues in the party manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, a statement said Tuesday.

Issues such as the women's reservation bill, which gives 33 percent reservation to women in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha besides safety, healthcare and educational facilities, were discussed at an interaction between office bearers of the All India Mahila Congress and NGOs here.

The interaction was held to mark the birth anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

NGOs like Little More, Women's Voice, National Alliance for Women, Centre for Social Research and Action India participated in the meeting, said Shobha Oza, president of the All India Mahila Congress.

The party will push the Women's Reservation Bill in the winter session of Parliament from Dec 5-20, she said.

Ranjana Kumari, chairperson of the Centre for Social Research, appealed to all women party leaders to support the bill, which is stuck in Parliament due to lack of consensus among various political parties.

There was no need to wait for any consensus on the bill, Mohini Giri, president, Guild for Service said highlighting the need to implement the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma Commission to ensure gender equality and justice.

The panel was formed after the brutal assault and gangrape of a young girl in a moving bus in Delhi, which shook the nation's conscience last year.

The representatives of NGOs also demanded that crimes against women like rape, sexual harassment and stalking should be taken note of and strict punishment be given to the accused.

The healthcare, housing and sanitation amenities for the rural women must not be ignored, they added.

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