Only when the women are empowered in all fields — educational, social, economic and political by ensuring reservation from panchayat to Parliament, can we achieve the true gender equality, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Addressing Mahiladakshata Samiti in Hyderabad on Friday, he stressed there is enough evidence to show that women during the early Vedic period were seen as equal to men in all walks of life. Our cultural moorings have gender equality as a core principle, he said
“While we have such a long lineage of highly accomplished women, 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 said.
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.
“…unequal access to education, gainful employment and growth opportunities are widening the gender gap. Atrocities on women and domestic abuse are unfortunately tarnishing our image as a nation,” the Vice President flagged.
We need to build coalitions against gender discrimination. Government and the civil society must be active collaborators to achieve tangible results, he said.
Lauding Mahila Dakshata Samithi, he said they embody the selfless nature of women and is truly a shining example of how a group of dedicated people can bring about change in the lives of the needy and downtrodden sections.
“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 said.