India has said that gender equality and emancipation of rural women is a key driver of inclusive growth in the country, with discourse on women's empowerment progressing from viewing women as recipients of welfare benefits to engaging them as active agents of change.
India has said that gender equality and emancipation of rural women is a key driver of inclusive growth in the country, with discourse on women’s empowerment progressing from viewing women as recipients of welfare benefits to engaging them as active agents of change. “As one of the fastest growing economies of the world today, India is uniquely placed to deliver on its commitments to inclusive and sustainable development,” Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India Chetan Sanghi said in his statement to the 62nd Session of Commission on Status of Women here yesterday.
“Gender equality and emancipation of rural women is recognised as a key driver of inclusive growth and social progress in India,” he added. Sanghi cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that India is moving from women development to women-led development, and said that “the discourse on women’s empowerment is progressing from viewing women as recipients of welfare benefits to mainstreaming their concerns and engaging as partners and active agents of change in social, economic, cultural and political processes.”
He further stressed that while significant improvements have been achieved in the lives and well-being of women globally over the past few decades, rural women across the world continue to face multiple and intersecting challenges. “Asymmetrical division of labour, rights and assets coupled with their low participation in decision-making processes render them vulnerable to discrimination and violence,” he said. Sanghi voiced India’s commitment to strengthen cooperation in advancing the goals of gender equality and empowerment of all women to ensure that women and men are accorded equal treatment and enjoy the same opportunities.
The CSW, which will run through March 23, is the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights, and the single largest forum for UN Member States, civil society organisations and other international actors to build consensus and commitment on policy actions on this issue. On the sidelines of the annual conference, a discussion was organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and UN Women on the topic ‘challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls: Experiences from India.’
Sanghi told the gathering that the Indian government is implementing a series of flagship programmes that focus on significantly expanding financial inclusion, healthcare, safety and security, education, employment, rural livelihood, entrepreneurship and other social and economic welfare aspects for women. “Contribution of rural women to our GDP growth and their central role in poverty reduction has been a key guiding factor in framing our policies,” he said. He said that combating all forms of discrimination and violence against women have been integral to India’s national pursuit of forging inclusive society and development.