Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s political secretary Pawan Khera expresses support on her behalf on his Twitter handle.

Ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, women academicians and activists here have drafted a ‘womenifesto’ meant only for the women’s safety and development in the Capital and have appealed to the major political parties to implement it within the first year of their term.

A link to the manifesto that has been uploaded on a website was on Saturday shared by Chief Minister Sheila Diskhit’s political secretary Pawan Khera on his twitter handle saying that the CM endorses the same.

Posting the link on his personal twitter handle, Mr. Khera wrote, “Ms Sheila Dikshit endorses womenifesto and if elected is committed to its goals in first year.”

The manifesto has been drafted by a number of women including Jawaharlal Nehru University professors - Ayesha Kidwai and Janaki Nair, Supreme Court lawyers Karuna Nundy, social activists Kavita Krishnan, economist Devaki Jain, journalist Revati Laul and other academicians.

Reacting to Pawan Khera’s tweet about Ms. Dikshit endorsing the manifesto, Kavita Krishnan of the AIPWA told The Hindu, “I take the acceptance with a pinch of salt.”

Ms. Krishnan further said: “The manifesto that we have drafted consists of simple demands that should have been included by any other party in their manifesto. Sadly, it is not the case…none of the top political parties has the same points as us.”

On being asked about the important points of the manifesto, Ms. Krishnan said, “Our main demand is that all women should get respect and autonomy. Their safety should not come at the cost of making them sit at home. They should be able to out to work and still feel protected.”

As per another signatory, the drafting of this ‘Womenifesto’ was prompted by the sexual assault and murder of a paramedic student in December last year. “Issues about women’s safety was have been repeatedly discussed by the political parties and leaders at various public meetings and inside the Parliament since then but no significant change has been brought,” said the signatory.

A detailed manifesto which includes six different points on education, making stringent laws, taking care of the survivors has been drafted by the women.

The points that are included in the manifesto include developing education programmes to end the culture of gender-based violence. To make sure that each government agency produces a detailed action plan to implement the laws to end violence against women and foster their enforcement. To work with the Central Government for establishing and enforcing a public protocol for police response to crimes against women.

Establishing more fast track courts for crimes of violence against women, supporting survivors of the crime and ensuring safe streets are the other points in the manifesto.

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