Kolkata: To commemorate the occasion of International Women’s Day, Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee led a rally on Friday, organised by her party’s Mahila wing.The rally, which began at Shraddhananda Park at around 12 pm, continued with much fanfare as it traversed through the streets of North Kolkata, before it finally concluded at Dharamtala where she addressed the crowd. The procession which witnessed a footfall of thousands, was also attended by various women party leaders and ministers of the state including Chandrima Bhattacharya, Shashi Panja, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Dola Sen, Smita Bakshi, Nayana Banerjee, Ashima Patra and others who walked along with the Chief Minister to mark the occasion. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersApart from a strong message on women empowerment, there were cultural programmes on the same theme that were performed by various women groups who also took part in the procession. Numerous placards highlighting the various state government projects such as Kanyashree, and Rupashree among others were also displayed at the march. While addressing the crowd at Dharamtala where the rally finally concluded in the afternoon after a long walk, the Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaChief Minister reminded people of the Women’s Reservation Bill for parliamentarians and said that her party is the only one in the country which has 35 percent elected women members in the 16th Lok Sabha. “While the Women’s Reservation Bill has not yet been passed in #Parliament, I am proud that our party @AITCofficial has 35% women MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha. We have also reserved 50% seats in local bodies for women candidates #IWD2019,” she tweeted on the occasion. “The party will ensure this happens and this is our commitment,” the Chief Minister said. Further contending that women of Bengal are the “backbone of the state”, she added: “Our state has done exceptionally well in all regards and it ranks number one in terms of women empowerment. “Bengal has 50 percent reservation for women in the Panchayats and municipalities. “We have increased child care leave for women to almost 730 days and have also instituted scholarships like Kanyashree and Sikshashree for students all across the state.” While speaking about the launch of the recent health scheme ‘Swasthya Sathi’, Banerjee said the smart cards which are being issued under the scheme are being given to a woman member of the family, recognising her as its head. Banerjee also added that a record 48 percent women have participated in the 100 days’ work scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year as people unite to champion the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.