India may have been blessed with remarkable women leaders but the society is still "schizophrenic" towards women, often displaying endemic brutality in its word and deed, Vice President of India Hamid Ansari said here today.
The society still has a long way to go in ensuring full gender parity as it often fail to treat women as equal citizens and disregard their basic human rights, he said.
"Our country has been blessed with remarkable women leaders who have left an indelible mark on our society and polity through their invaluable contributions.
"The paradox is that, as a society we are somewhat schizophrenic in our attitude to women and in actual practice oscillate between deep respect and endemic display of brutality in word and deed," Ansari said after unveiling a book on former President Pratibha Patil.
The book titled 'The First Woman President of India, Reinventing leadership, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil' has been written by Hyderabad-based 'The English and Foreign Language University' Vice Chancellor Sunaina Singh.
Patil and her husband Devisingh Shekhawat was also present during the occasion.
Applauding the "exemplary" role played by Patil in the context of women's status in the society, Ansari said she has been a source of inspiration for fellow citizens.
"In a distinguished public life spanning almost 50 years, Patil went from being the youngest member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly at the age of 27 to the highest office of the land as the twelfth President of India," he said.
Ansari said as President, Patil upheld the constitutional norms diligently and with the gravitas befitting the high office.
"She took important initiatives and continued working towards the socio-economic development of the country in her usual understated but determined way," he said.