Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: State Governments have to take measures to ensure equal access to women in all fields for their empowerment, said Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development D. Purandareshwari here on Friday.

She was delivering her inaugural address at the UGC-sponsored National Seminar on `Role of women in national building - A multi dimensional perspective,' at St. Ann's College for Women, Mehdipatnam.

She said that despite statutory provisions and judicial interventions against gender bias and deprivation, there had been little change in ground realities for majority of women.

Raw deal

As per 2001 census, women constitute 48 per cent of the population, but their percentage in terms of education, labour participation, wage and earnings was poor despite Constitution-guaranteed rights. As per International Labour Organisation statistics, women constituted one-third of the labour force, but only earned a tenth of the total earnings and possessed only 1 per cent of assets.

Felicitated

Despite the odds, women broke gender barriers and entered into various fields on par with men, she observed.

She later felicitated women achievers from various fields, A.R. Anuradha, IG, Hyderabad Region; Shantha Sinha of Hyderabad Central University; Santha K. John of Mindset EYW; Ms. Nandita Das, actor and social activist, Tutu Taneja.

The seminar was organised in collaboration with Centre for Women Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University.