Social Policy & Administration

Contrasting Visions for Women Empowerment in India’s 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Contrasting Visions for Women Empowerment in India's 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

While political manifestos abound with promises of women’s empowerment and progress, the ground reality often paints a starkly different picture.


Deepanshu Mohan, Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India. He is a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, and a 2024 Fall Academic Visitor to Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford.

Aditi Desai, Senior research analyst with CNES and Team lLad for its InfoSphere initiative.


In light of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the political landscape in India is brimming with promises of women’s empowerment and “Nari Shakti” from both the BJP and Congress. However, it’s imperative to scrutinise the government’s efforts towards women’s empowerment over the past decade and understand what lies ahead.

In 2014, the BJP’s manifesto emphasised the role of women as ‘nation builders’ and stated that it recognised the important role of women (Nari Shakti) in societal development and national growth. It pledged to give high priority to women’s empowerment and welfare by focusing on reducing high crime rates against women, increasing female education and employment levels, and introducing a constitutional amendment for 33% reservation in parliamentary and state assemblies.

While among the significant schemes focused on women’s empowerment, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) stands out. Launched in 2016, its goal was to provide LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. While there are claims of near-universal (99%) access to LPG connections, the ground reality suggests otherwise. LPG consumption among PMUY beneficiaries has remained low, except for a spike during the COVID-19 relief package in 2020-21, which offered free refills.

Published in: The Quint

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