Stresses need for bringing them into mainstream and at national level as ‘equal partners'

President Pratibha Patil on Saturday emphasised that empowerment of women was of prime importance to provide a solid base for the country's integral development.

Addressing an international Symposium on ‘Empowerment of Women and the Girl Child' to commemorate the 175th birth anniversary of noted Urdu poet and social reformer Maulana Khawaja Altaf Husain ‘Hali Panipati' who lived here, she said that a peaceful society could be created if the energy of women was properly utilised.

“We have to create an environment where women are brought to the mainstream whether it be the family, society, and at the national level as ‘equal partners,'” she asserted.

Highlighting the need for the education of women right from childhood to make them “strong and self-reliant,” the President said that young girls should be taught judo and karate in schools so that they could protect themselves.

Expressing concern over the sex ratio data for the age group 0 to six as was evident from the Census figures, she said the causes should be explored and remedial measures initiated on priority. She noted that although there had been some improvement in the sex ratio in Haryana due to the initiatives of the State government, much more needed to be done.

Pat for Hooda

Deviating from her written speech, she congratulated Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for initiating several schemes for the empowerment of women and the girl child.

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