Delhi Chief Minister launched a new post-graduate course in Gender and Development Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University

Women are doing 76 per cent of the total work being done in the world while holding just 0.01 per cent of the assets and as such their contribution has not been really evaluated, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Friday quoting an International Labour Organisation report.

Speaking after launching a new post-graduate course in Gender and Development Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University here, Ms. Dikshit – who also inaugurated a Friday seminar series on “Women in Power” and presented course material to the students of the new course – said things are gradually changing for the betterment for women.

The Chief Minister said women have now started getting out of their role of housewives and rising to important positions. “Our Constitution granted equal adult franchise and equal pay to women without any demand being raised by any women’s organisation. In a few European countries, even today women receive less salary than men,’’ she said.

Ms. Dikshit stressed the need for imparting skills to women so that they become more confident. She also hailed the decision of the Union Government to provide 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayats, added that this would help in empowering women and allow them to also contribute substantially in the decision-making process.

As for the initiatives taken by the Delhi Government, Ms. Dikshit said there was a big gender imbalance in Delhi which had improved after implementation of “Laadli” scheme. In 2008, 1,004 girl births were registered against 1,000 boy births.

Besides, she said, the Stree Shakti programme and the Gender Resource Centre (GRC) have provided an opportunity to vulnerable women to become self-reliant. The GRCs have imparted training to around five lakh women. The Mission Convergence Programme, she said, was also a step forward in the direction of empowering the vulnerable sections of society through a single window service.

The function was also attended by Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat while IGNOU acting Vice-Chancellor D.K. Chaudhary presided over the event.

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