Gandhiji was champion of woman empowerment and the first social reformer to give more importance to the women, Deputy Director, National Gandhi Museum Anil Dutta Mishra said during his talk on Gandhi and woman empowerment, organised by Andhra University’s Gandhian Studies Centre here on Thursday.

“Gandhiji involved women in Satyagraha movements, particularly in Dandi March and Quit India. Woman is the incarnation of non-violence and we must give woman her due share as a citizen. Woman is not an Abala (weak) but is a Sabala (strong)”, said Dr. Mishra, who also wrote a book – Reading Gandhi.

He was against dowry, pardah and old traditional customs which hampered the woman’s development. For Gandhi dowry was marriage by purchase. He gave voice to women by empowering them. He wanted the mindset of the women to change and that they must have self-esteem, self-respect and integrity.

Dr. Mishra felt that women in India have to go a long way in attaining empowerment in political, economic, social and cultural fields. The need of the hour was not welfare, but development; not charity, but entitlement; not assistance, but empowerment; not structural adjustment, but structural changes; not even social security but social and gender justice, if the women were to survive and flourish in the given situation, he said.

Co-ordinator of the Gandhian Studies Centre A.B.S.V. Ranga Rao presided.

On Wednesday, the Centre observed the 65{+t}{+h}martyrdom of Gandhiji. Professor D. Prabhakar, who was the chief guest observed that Gandhiji was for the welfare economics rather than GDP of the nation. He strived for the betterment of poorest of the poor and envisioned a society,  in which that was no violent and exploitation.

HoD of Journalism and Mass Communication D.V.R. Murthy said Gandhiji’s writing would provide solutions to the many current problems.

Assistant Director of KVIC Srinivasan spoke on Gandhiji’s focus on rural industries.

Prof. Prabhakar released a journal, The Gandhian Way, brought out by the Gandhian Studies Centre.

Professors R.D. Sampath Kumar, R. Swamidas and P. Kishore Kumar and others participated.