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Kerala Budget 2018: Kerala women will  laud Thomas Isaac

The fact that the Budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac finally addressed some of the burning issues of women in the state is a welcome step towards women’s empowerment.

Published: 03rd February 2018 01:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2018 04:16 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The fact that the Budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac finally addressed some of the burning issues of women in the state is a welcome step towards women’s empowerment. I know Isaac is sensitive to the issues faced by women who have been marginalised and harassed for decades. I am sure the women of Kerala will be happy about it and they will applaud the minister. They will be thankful as he has been sensitive to their plight.

It is heartening to see that the Budget has put the focus on women’s empowerment. For the first time, a state Budget has found it necessary to allocate a sizeable portion of its outlay for women’s empowerment and their safety. But my request is the money should not be spent on paying salaries and perks for the officers in various agencies constituted in the name of women’s empowerment.

The decision to increase the monthly assistance for unwed mothers is also a kind gesture. The allocation of `50 crore for providing immediate assistance to survivors of sexual and other harassment could bring relief to women in distress. But I reiterate that there should be a mechanism to ensure the amount allocated for women should not go wasted. The amount should reach the right hands.

The proposal to construct women-friendly washrooms at district centres is a welcome decision. It was during my tenure as chairperson of the Kerala State Women’s Commission in 1996 that such a proposal was mooted. But the governments that came to power one after the other had neglected it and only now that they realised the importance of providing such facilities.Apart from this, there should also be a proper maintenance of short-stay homes and ‘She lodges’. Moreover, the cleanliness of public amenities for women such as ‘She toilets’ is of prime importance.



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