Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised to strive for the passage of women's reservation bill in Parliament and a policy of zero tolerance towards atrocities on women if his party comes to power.
"There is an urgent need to provide reservation for women in state assemblies and Lok Sabha to ensure their empowerment. The Congress is keen to ensure this," Gandhi said during an interaction with women at a convention in Jeypore town of Odisha's Koraput district.
"If the Congress comes to power, our approach will be zero tolerance towards atrocities against women. They should get speedy justice," Gandhi said.
Referring to Odisha, Gandhi said if the grand old party is voted to power in the state, all women would be provided free education, be it in engineering or medical or any other field.
"All women, particularly tribals, Dalits and those belonging to the backward categories should get free education to ensure they are truly empowered," Gandhi added.
At the outset, the Congress chief congratulated women on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Meanwhile, marking International Women's Day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday took pride in her ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) for having 35 per cent female MPs and reservation of 50 per cent of the seats for women in the state's local bodies.
"While the Women's Reservation Bill has not yet been passed in Parliament, I am proud that our party @AITCofficial has 35 per cent women MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha. We have also reserved 50 per cent seats in local bodies for women candidates," Banerjee said in a tweet.
Highlighting her government's scheme that empowers women she said: "Our government is committed to the welfare and empowerment of women. Recently we launched the Swasthya Sathi health insurance smart cards.
"We have decided to issue these cards to a woman member of the family, recognising her as the head of the family."
International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8.