Demanding that women should be protected in parliament and state legislatures as a means of empowerment, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday called for equal property rights for all children, regardless of their gender. She said that while the issue of reservations for women was under discussion in the legislature, “as expected, it is not progressing in any way”.
She said women’s empowerment would affect not only their own lives but also their families and society at large. He emphasized that for inclusive growth, special attention needs to be paid to women, youth and rural India. Speaking at the 38th Annual Session of the FICCI Ladies Organization, she called on the corporate sector and various NGOs to complement the government’s efforts to educate girls. There should be no discrimination against girls and every girl child should be admitted to school, the vice president said.
In India’s cultural mooring, Naidu said, gender equality exists as a key principle. In the early Vedic age, women were seen as equal to men in all aspects of life, he observed. “Our history has also documented the achievements of extraordinary women in various fields. Unfortunately, some undesirable trends, such as gender inequality, have developed in modern times. This has led to literacy, low education and, consequently, under-representation in the workforce and politics,” she said.
Naidu felt that there was an urgent need to eliminate gender inequality in various fields. He said the government, the private sector and all members of the civil society should join hands in empowering women. Mentioning the benefits of women’s education, she said that these include reduction in fertility rate, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
Education will enable women to be better decision makers, she noted. The Vice President also emphasized the importance of ensuring the physical well-being of children and providing them with properly cooked traditional Indian food. “More women need to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs because I believe that only 14 per cent of India’s 58.5 million entrepreneurs are women. That needs to change and I want to take this opportunity to commend the FLO for its exceptional efforts.” Said.
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