The State Government must consider allotting a large number of fair price shops of the Public Distribution System to women self-help groups (SHGs).

This was among the several resolutions passed during the conference on women livelihood rights and empowerment organised on Thursday by Madurai Non-Formal Education Centre to mark the International Women's Day.

Resolutions demanding allotment of house site pattas to women living in huts in urban areas and poor women residing in rural areas were also passed. The Government should also consider providing more economic assistance to urban women SHGs.

They also reiterated the long-pending demand of women's organisations that a Bill for 33 per cent quota for women in parliament be passed. Besides calling for declaring International Women's Day as a Government Holiday, the organisation also demanded that the women SHGs be given credit at 6 per cent interest rate. Further, resolutions demanding that 3 per cent of all bank loans be allotted for training for women in entrepreneurial skills were also passed. Further, the organisation also sought the creation of separate counters for women SHGs in banks to expedite the loan process.

Dr. Madhikrishnan, chairman, Board of International Governing Council of Academy of Universal Global Peace presented the Academy Peace Award to Dr. J. Helen Manoharan, director, and Dr. P. Manoharan, secretary, Madurai Non-Formal Education Centre.

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