Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has said empowering women will enable them to lead a life of dignity, respect and make informed decisions.
Addressing the gathering at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Mahila Dakshata Samiti here today, the Vice President said there was enough evidence to show that women during the early Vedic period were seen as equal to men in all walks of life. He also said, “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.
The Vice President said India’s long, rich history is dotted with numerous achievements of extraordinary women. Quoting examples of great women like Prabhavati, daughter of Chandra Gupta II, Razia Sultana, only woman monarch to rule Delhi; Durgavati, Gond queen and Rajmata Jijabai, famous poetesses like Molla who wrote Ramayana in Telugu; Akka Mahadevi, Andal and Avvaiyar and others, he said India has a long lineage of highly accomplished women. He said 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.
The Vice President said 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. He said 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.
The Vice President 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.
TS Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, MP Konda Visweshvar Reddy, M.L.A Arikepudi Gandhi and Mahila Dakshata Samithi Secretary Aruna Malani were present. Venkaiah Naidu felicitated the Mahila Dakshata Samithi trustees on the occasion.