Highlighting the need for jobs to be more advantageous for women, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced plans for a gender audit in workplaces to achieve equal compensation for women. He outlined Kerala’s accomplishments with regard to laws that support women, such as the introduction of menstruation leave for students and the adoption of gender budgeting by local government entities.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday that steps will be taken to ensure equal pay for women and men, as well as a gender audit, will be conducted in workplaces, in an attempt to win over female voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to women in the state during the Chief Minister’s Face-to-Face Program, Vijayan stated that jobs should be more gender-neutral.Up until recently, women’s education was the main focus.

However, they must also be persuaded of the necessity of their continued participation in the (formal) workforce. Women should have greater options in the workforce. To that purpose, equal pay will be guaranteed and workplace gender audits will be carried out,” Vijayan stated. He emphasized his government’s pro-women measures, saying, “Kerala has become a role model in the country by introducing menstrual leave for students in all state universities under the Department of Higher Education.”

He added to his argument that this must also translate into more women entering the official workforce by pointing out that the state has the greatest percentage of women working in higher education, according to the National Survey on Higher Education. The chief minister cited Kerala as the pioneer state in 1997 for introducing gender budgeting for women in local government organizations.

Vijayan, who is critical of the central government, claims that gender budgeting is done only for namesake. He claims that the percentage has never exceeded 6% of the whole budget. The gender budget in Kerala this year accounts for 21.5% of the overall budget. Along with the state budget, the annual gender budget has been presented annually since 2017–18,” he continued.

Speaking to a sizable gathering at the CIAL convention center here, the Left leader asserted that women form the backbone of the state’s Green Army and Sanitation Mission. The “social waste” of communalism, which contaminates society as a whole, is something that women can handle, he claimed. The community defiles society as a whole. At a time when attempts are being made to communalize beliefs, one ought to be able to distinguish between communalism and religion. It is necessary to oppose attempts to transform issues of belief into symbols of violent communalism. He continued, “Women are crucial in ensuring that even young children comprehend these efforts.

Speaking about the increasing role of women in the startup industry, Vijayan stated that of the Rs 8,000 crore invested in the startup sector, Rs 1,500 crore comes from female entrepreneurs, and women run 40% of recently established firms in Kerala. “Women need financial freedom to gain social progress,” he said.