True gender equity can be achieved when women are empowered: Vice President

Friday, March 30th, 2018, 07:57:06 PM IST

Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that empowering women will enable them lead a life of dignity, respect and make informed decisions.

He was addressing the gathering at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Mahila Dakshata Samiti here Hyderabad on Friday. Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha, Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that there is enough evidence to show that women during the early Vedic period were seen as equal to men in all walks of life. He further said that our cultural moorings have gender equality as a core principle. We are proud inheritors of a culture and a world view in which women were not only treated equally but were revered, he added.

Venkaiah Naidu said that India’s long, rich history is dotted with numerous achievements of extraordinary women. Quoting examples of great women like Prabhavati, the daughter of Chandra Gupta II, Razia Sultana, the only woman monarch to rule Delhi; Durgavati the Gond queen and Rajmata Jijabai, famous poetesses like Molla who wrote Ramayana in Telugu; Akka Mahadevi, Andal and Avvaiyar and others, he said that India has a long lineage of highly accomplished women.

The Vice President said that despite our rich heritage, there has been unfortunately a parallel trend of gender discrimination. This has resulted in low literacy, low education and consequently, low representation in the workforce and politics, he added.

Venkaiah Naidu said that unequal access to education, gainful employment and growth opportunities are widening the gender gap and atrocities on women and domestic abuse are unfortunately tarnishing our image as a nation.

“We can hardly wait and watch. We can’t allow these social evils to continue. We need to think and act,” the Vice President said adding that we need to build coalitions against gender discrimination. Government and the civil society must be active collaborators to achieve tangible results, he said.

“The better half of humanity must get a better deal. The bitter legacy of inequity must end,” he said.

The Vice President said that empowering educationally, socially and politically is the fundamental requirement for the country to unleash the forces of growth and achieve rapid progress. Without the active participation of women, establishment of a new social order may not be successful one because women constitute half the population, he said recalling Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, he added.

Venkaiah Naidu expressed anguish over the incidents of girls committing suicide and said they are not unable to withstand pressure of studies. He suggested all those working in the field of education to council both the girls and their parents.