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I am writing to you today to congratulate each of you, the members of the All India Mahila Congress, on your contribution to the party in the past and to convey my delight at the stellar work that you plan to undertake as this new chapter in the AIMC’s life begins. 

As the real inheritors of the ideas that Smt. Sucheta Kriplani, Smt. Sarojini Naidu, Begum Abida Ahmad, Smt. Vijay Laxmi Pandit and Smt. Indira Gandhi stood for, I am sure your actions will take the spirit of their work forward and the organization will continue to demonstrate an abiding commitment to issues that will be crucial to the women of our country.

In 1947, as equal citizens of a newly independent country, the women of India took part in the cause of nation building with as much enthusiasm as the men. As homemakers, members of collectives in rural India, doctors, teachers, scientists and farmers, they became an important part of a hard working and young nation. Unfortunately, while our women represented shakti in so many aspects of their lives, they also faced discrimination in many other ways. As the nation evolved into the largest democracy in the world, the Congress ensured the passage of landmark legislations like the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Equal Remuneration Act, the Maternity Benefits Act, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, to create legislative and institutional frameworks that helped our sisters overcome the discrimination they faced. Over the years, the Congress also implemented a number of government schemes that brought most of our young girls into the educational system, provided them better access to nutrition, healthcare and employment.

Clearly, we have a lot to be proud of.

But our work is by no means complete.

Especially as far as equality of women and their access to opportunity is concerned. It is a matter of great pride for us to remember that it was the Congress Party that first promised universal adult franchise as far back as 1928, a time when a number of developed democracies were still debating the idea. While this powerful idea was included in the Constitution along with an explicit promise of gender equality, I am deeply concerned that women are still disproportionately represented in a number of aspects of our nation’s life. Despite the successful implementation of the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution and increasing representation of women at the Panchayat level, the Constitutional promise of equality, has not resulted in larger and more proportionate representation of women in state legislative bodies and Parliament.   

I am convinced that our nation cannot prosper if we continue to lose out on the contribution of half our population. We have to continue our fight against social barriers that deny women respect, access to quality education, work, health and safety. Above all, we must work together to ensure that women are given the opportunity to bring their own perspective to the important task of legislation that will help propel India forward. It is precisely for this reason that the Women’s Reservation Bill must be placed before Parliament urgently, and it is my sincerest wish that you will bring women together from across the country to demand the passage and implementation of the Bill before the next general elections. 

Finally, I wish the firebrand team of Mahila Congress members, led by Ms. Sushmita Dev, all the best for the future. I hope that you will fight hard for women and their causes, become the voice of all Indian women and be role models for generations to come.

Jai Hind!

Sonia Gandhi

VISION & MISSION

“To ensure that women do, and will always play an equal role in the political and public life of our country”

‘Safety- Dignity- equality’ encapsulates the vision and mission of Mahila Congress as an Organisation as well as a Political entity and it shall strive to achieve these values in Social, Political and personal fields pertaining to women.
SAFETY

In India, a crime is committed against a woman every three minutes. From Female foeticide, infanticide, child trafficking, honor killings, acid attacks, molestation, child marriage, dowry and dowry deaths, domestic violence, female infanticide, molestation, sexual harassment at work, malnutrition, rapes and assaults, women across India face dangers in myriad ways, at home and outside.

Our vision is of a Nation and society Where a Woman’s safety is paramount and assured, right from a fetus to an Old age and her physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing is protected and given every opportunity to thrive.

A vocal champion of women’s interests, Mahila Congress endeavors to highlight the plight of women hailing from the different segments of our society through innovative and focused social campaigns around women’s rights issues and problems. The All India Mahila Congress shall also work towards building awareness and empathy for these issues in society and where ever possible, push for legislation to counter these issues via appropriate political platforms.

DIGNITY

From her mere physical dignity to finding her rightful place in our patriarchal society as an equal, a woman can face many challenges. Her dignity as an individual, as a citizen of our nation, is denied and challenged by centuries-old prejudices, misogynist attitudes, and a male-dominated society.

However, in today’s India, woman have a never before the possibility of consolidating their position and breaking age-old traditions and mindsets, reimagining and creating a society Where her dignity is upheld, her being celebrated for what it is and not asked to reflect or follow that of a man.

Mahila Congress has resolved to be an agent of change by being a sympathetic partner, an enabling institution, a training and collaboration platform for women to assert and achieve these goals

EQUALITY

The Constitution of India grants equal rights and status to women in the social, cultural, economic and political fields. But in spite of these formal rights, Indian women are still to achieve substantive equality within the social, economic, and political spheres. There is a world of ignorance and prejudiced violence which has kept her in the shadow of men. We envisage a Nation where every woman is as aware of her Rights and capable of executing them as she is of her duties. Where she is not a second-class citizen but an equal- in Rights, Responsibilities and decision making.

Mahila Congress shall endeavor to push for political awareness and will open these avenues through conferences, talks, legislation, bills, and campaigns.