Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday emphasised on educational and economic empowerment for women and said no country could progress if they were denied equal opportunities.
Delivering his address at the inaugural of iWIN (International Women Network) on the occasion of Womens Day here, he said, “It was the duty of each one of us to see that no girl was left out of school.”
An educated woman would possess skills, self-confidence and could become a better parent, an official press release quoted Venkaiah Naidu as saying.
She would also provide better nutrition and hence ensure that her children are healthy, he said.
In this aspect, the Vice-President expressed happiness over the tremendous impact of Beti Bachao, Beti Padao on increasing the gross enrolment ratio of girls across all levels.
Calling for a change in mindset, the Vice President said there was an urgent need to make boys respect girls from a young age.
He said women were always given a respectable place in Indian culture and traditions and we need to go back to our roots.
Noting that life always needs women, Venkaiah Naidu, in his trademark style, said- First, it is Vidya (education), then Lakshmi (wealth) and finally it is Shakti and Shanti (peace)
Describing spiritual symbols, the Vice-President said, “Whether we chant the Gayatri (mantra) or read the Gita (epic), or we do Vandana, Puja or Aarti with Shraddha towards God to pray, we are still with women.
Maintaining that the greatest human values are feminine, Venkaiah Naidu said, When we grow older we want Karuna (compassion) or Mamta (love). From those who are angry with us we want Kshama (forgiveness). It is a womans world, he said.
Observing that even after seven decades of Independence, there were still reports of gender discrimination, atrocities and violence against women, the Vice President stressed that there should be zero tolerance towards such social evils.
He called for meting out swift punishment to those who commit crimes against women and said that political will was required to curb crimes against women rather than merely bringing a new bill.
On the need for a special emphasis on education and empowerment of rural women, the Vice-President said promoting literacy among rural women and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship among them would pave the way for their economic empowerment.
He also called for giving equal rights to women in ancestral property, including that of the agriculture land and said that there was an urgent need to bring in uniformity in laws across the country in this regard.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan was among the dignitaries who were present.
Earlier in the day, the Vice President attended the Womens Day calebrations organised by Durgabai Deshmukh Mahila Sabha (Andhra Mahila Sabha) here.
Addressing the gathering at the event, he called upon the youth to draw inspiration from the life of visionary leaders such as Durgabai Deshmukh who dedicated her life in the service of nation at a tender age of 12.