Venkaiah pitches greater role for women

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today pitched for greater representation of women in Parliament and State legislatures.

Ahead of International Women’s Day (8 March), Venkaiah lamented that gender equality and women safety remained elusive despite women achieving remarkable feat, and advocated for a change in mindset of the society, supplemented by educational and employment avenues for women.

”Women should be provided with enough opportunities to serve as legislators in the state legislatures and Parliament. They also need to be included and consulted in every fora for policy formulation and implementation,” Venkaiah said in Rajya Sabha.

Venkaiah emphasised that the founding fathers had enshrined in the Constitution the ideals of gender equality and women empowerment as fundamental to achieving equal rights and dignity for all.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Venkaiah said greater participation of women in legislatures will ensure outcomes which are sensitive to their needs and provide ample opportunities for them to prosper and contribute to nation building.

”Today, despite women registering remarkable progress on all fronts, gender equality and women safety still remain elusive. Crime against women are on the rise, the panacea for which lies not only in increasing the quality of policing and tweaking the criminal justice system but also challenging the deep-seated mindset prevalent in our society,’ he said.

Change in the mindset of the society needs to be supplemented by better healthcare, educational and employment avenues for women, he added.

Venkaiah, who is also the chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, said women in the country have come a long way to make their presence felt at national and international levels.

”From being an affectionate and caring mother to a fighter jet pilot; from heading an MNC to scaling insurmountable mountain peaks, women can be seen challenging the prevalent prejudices and stereotypes and successfully overcoming them,” he said.

Underlining that women have excelled be it politics, poetry, sports or business, Venkaiah said, ‘It is our duty to keep up this momentum and continue building upon the progress achieved by women.Placing on record the appreciation of the services rendered by women including citizens and parliamentarians, Venkaiah said India has had a rich and vibrant history of honouring, respecting and celebrating women and acknowledging their invaluable contribution.

He said India’s philosophical discourses have been enriched by the works of women sages like Lopamudra, Gargi and Maitreyi.
Terming International Women’s Day as a day to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and honour their resolute determination and incessant efforts to achieve equality, justice and economic development, he said it is a day to reflect upon and ponder over the progress and the impediments that lie in the path of women empowerment.

He also quoted UN theme for Women’s Day — ”I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” — and said it is aligned with UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign, ”Generation Equality”, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in 1995 at the fourth world conference.

It envisages equal pay; equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work; an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, customised health care services; equal participation in the political arena; and decision-making in all areas of life.

NT Bureau