Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat has nominated four MLAs, including Minister of State for Medical and Health Rajkumar Sharma, for participating in an international conference on “Empowering women in developing countries through health care and nutrition”, beginning on Thursday at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS) in Pilani.

Other MLAs nominated for attending the event are Rao Rajendra Singh (Shahpura), Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand) and Sajjan Katara (Udaipur Rural). Mr. Shekhawat said these members had been named keeping in mind their background, knowledge of ground realities and an “avid interest” in women’s empowerment.

Experts and policy makers from India and abroad will analyse various aspects of development and welfare of women with prime focus on their health at the three-day conference. It has been primarily designed for policy makers, academic institutions, health and nutrition experts, U.N. agencies and NGOs dealing with women’s health care.

The Women Studies and Societal Development Unit of BITS and the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries, New Delhi, are jointly organising the global roundtable, which will be supported by UNICEF-Rajasthan.

UNICEF-Rajasthan spokesperson Anuradha Chandran said here that the participants would try to identify major challenges in providing adequate health care to women and suggest measures for improving the status of health and nutrition of women and children with specific reference to low birth weight babies, adolescent anaemia and obstetric care.

Besides the Indian experts, the participants have been invited from the countries such as Mauritius, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Iran, Oman, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

The presentations during the technical sessions are expected to throw light on new directions and trends in the field of women’s health care and nutrition. The recommendations will be submitted to the policy makers to help accelerate the expansion of health care services.

The Women Studies Unit at BITS, sponsored by the University Grants Commission, undertakes various activities for uplift of women in the socio-economic and health sectors, while the NAM S&T Centre is an inter-governmental organisation with a membership of 44 countries spread over Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.