President Ram Nath Kovind has called for a change in mindset to end discrimination against women.
Presenting the Nari Shakti Puraskar at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on International Women’s Day yesterday, Mr Kovind said discriminating between men and women is essentially a problem of the mindset in society.
To ensure the composite development of the country, it is necessary to remove such discrimination. Every person in society is responsible for changing the mindset. “We should listen to voices of our daughters and provide them with all opportunities to make the most of their lives. We should change customs and traditions that hinder giving equal rights to our daughters,” he added.
The President said awareness and education were effective tools to overcome gender inequality. Education provides the power and understanding to eradicate distinctions between people in society.
On the occasion, Mr Kovind conferred the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskars to 30 eminent women and 9 Institutions for the year 2017 in recognition of their efforts in rendering services for the cause of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.
Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said women’s safety is one of the top most priorities of the Government and the Ministry is working to ensure the security of women in public spaces, at their workplaces, within their homes and even online.
About 200 one stop centres for single window services to women facing violence have been set up across the country, which has already assisted about one lakh women.
Speaking on the steps taken by the Government on the women empowerment, the Minister highlighted that 1.26 crore girls and 16.44 crore women have opened their bank accounts and loans have been extended to 6.28 crore women entrepreneurs.
As many as 20,000 women sarpanches were being trained so they could contribute better to their village’s development. She also highlighted that the ban on women going to Haj without a Mehram or the male companion has now been lifted. For the first time in the history of India, women have been inducted into combat roles in the armed forces, she added.
This year the winners of the Nari Shakti Puraskar are from fields as diverse as sports, social work, science, art, agriculture, education, conservation, security, handicrafts and defence.