Don’t wait for others to give you rights, President tells women

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday exhorted women not to wait for others to give them what was their right and empower their minds instead.

He also urged the Centre to learn from the initiatives taken by different states and union territories for women’s empowerment and development.

“I often hear of women not being given the opportunity or permission to do something. I would say, why wait for others to give you what is your right? The minds of our women should be empowered. The mindsets of our people must evolve,” the president said while speaking at a function held to give away ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar 2015’ on International Women’s Day.

“They must realise that it is in society’s own interest to create the conditions for their women to freely exercise their choices at home and workplace without restrictions or fear,” said Mukherjee.

“The government can certainly partner with the private sector and the widespread network of civil society organisations to do this better. Best practices for the development of women – that have worked well at the grass roots in states and union territories – should be adopted and up-scaled in the Indian government schemes,” he added.

“It is intolerable that in this day and age, women are still being exposed to barbaric brutality and violence because they are women.

“A greater focus on women’s access to resources – and control over these resources – and more emphasis on improving the health and nutrition of girls and women is a vital necessity.”

The president also commended the government for its initiatives on empowering women.

“I am glad to know that the ministry of women and child development has conceived a Village Convergence and Facilitation Services programme at the gram panchayat level. I am confident that the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ programme will succeed in addressing malnutrition, maternal mortality and bridging gaps to improve the status of women in our society,” said Mukherjee.

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