Rahul Gandhi on Friday told a Mahila Congress convention in Kerala that the party should have women chief ministers in half of the states ruled by it in 10 years.
“I thought a good target for the Congress party would be in 10 years from today 50 per cent of our chief ministers are women,” he said in his inaugural address at the Kerala State Mahila Congress Convention in Kochi on Friday.
Drawing a comparison between RSS-BJP and the Congress, the Wayanad Lok Sabha member said his party always stood for women in top positions since women were the most discriminated against in the country.
“The Congress party has had women presidents and a woman Prime Minister because we fundamentally believe that women should share power in the country,” he said.
“We do not see women as inferior to men in any way. In fact, I think women are superior to men in many ways. They have more patience than men, they have longer-term vision than men, they are more sensitive, they are more compassionate than men,” he said to loud applause from the thousands of women who were present at the massive rally in Marine Drive in Kochi.
He reminded the audience that the RSS differed in terms of how it treated women.
“In its entire history, the RSS has not allowed women into its ranks. And when I made this statement a couple of times, the leadership of the RSS said we (the RSS) have women’s organisations. But the question is not whether they have women’s organisations, the question is whether women are allowed to share power in the RSS. And the answer is absolutely not. The RSS is purely a male organisation,” he said.
“We believe that women should be allowed to make choices. What a woman does, what a woman wears, what profession she does is her decision, and her decision only.”
“In the RSS they decide what women should wear, they decide what women should do and they decide on what basis women should be respected,” he said, adding that the core of the fight between the RSS and Congress is on the role of women in politics.
“You can see this in their actions. For example, it is the first time I have seen a bill passed in Parliament that will be implemented a decade later…The only bill that the BJP is implementing 10 years after its passing is the one that has do with women’s power,” he said, alluding to the women’s reservation bill passed in October.
He drew attention to how Right-wing leaders often blame a rape victim’s clothes for the atrocity committed against them. “I’ve heard statements of leaders from the Right-wing where they will say the girl would not have got raped if she dressed properly. This is an insult to every single woman in this country. It is turning the victim into the villain.”
The Congress leader drew attention to how policies implemented by his party-run governments have always been pro-women. “If you look at our schemes carefully you will find most of our schemes are targeted at women and designed to support women. Whether it is NREGA (rural employment guarantee scheme) or right to food, most of our schemes are given to women.”
But Rahul conceded that women as a whole faced more discrimination than men. “In the political system, we have different types of discrimination. We have caste discrimination, we have language discrimination, we have discrimination along the lines of religion. But women are the most discriminated against,” he added.