Patil calls for continued efforts for women empowerment

Friday, November 19, 2010

PUTTAPARTI - President Pratibha Patil Friday called for continuing efforts to empower women through education, awareness and opportunities.

Addressing women’s day celebrations as part of the 85th birthday of Sathya Sai Baba in this pilgrim town of Anantapur district, Patil said women participation in the political and economic activities of the society enriches the fabric of the nation.

Patil said progress of women occupies a special place in her priorities.

“The progress of women occupies a special place in my priorities, and it is my endeavour to see forward movement on issues that have an impact on them,” she said.

She recalled that after the governors’ conference in 2008, she constituted a sub-committee of governors to suggest steps for empowerment of women. On the recommendation of the sub-committee, the National Mission on Empowerment of Women was launched in March this year, for the co-ordinated delivery of women-centric and women-related programmes of the government.

“Proper and timely implementation of these schemes in a transparent and accountable manner is essential for achieving the goal of empowering women. Success in this will translate into manifold benefits to the nation,” the president said.

She noted that a woman’s role extends from being an important member of the family - daughter, sister, wife, and mother - to being a determinant of social development as well as an architect of and contributor to nation building.

Underlining the need for girl education, she said when a daughter goes to study, it has a ripple effect. “Educated women can be the voices in the fight against social evils like female foeticide, child marriage, dowry and addictions, as well as against the discrimination and biases that exist in society against women.”

The president pointed out that India’s burden of maternal, newborn and child mortality is one of the highest in the world and needs to be addressed. “Access to and affordability of healthcare, especially for women and children, are tasks that must be accomplished,” she said.

She also called for involving women into the planning and development process.

“I am happy that at the grassroots level in our elected bodies in villages and towns there are 1.2 million elected women representatives. They should focus on bringing women related issues to the forefront, so that not only do women progress, but there is overall improvement in the standard of living and opening of many more avenues of employment and productive work in rural areas,” Patil said.

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