Noting that the new generation constitutes change-makers who can redefine the status of women in society, District Collector Navjot Khosa has said economic freedom plays the most crucial role in women’s empowerment.
Delivering the keynote address at an awareness programme organised as part of the Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) activities by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) here on Friday, Dr. Khosa said making women financially independent was not enough, it was important to ensure enough opportunities for them to fulfil their true potential.
The RGCB has been selected as one of the major institutions across the country to promote gender equity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) as part of GATI.
Citing her journey to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) after graduating in medicine, she said the right focus, determination and good mental health can help a woman attain success in her profession.
Divya S. Iyer, District Collector, Pathanamthitta, said since gender discrimination begins from childhood, families are the fundamental units of gender transformation in our society.
RGCB director Chandrabhas Narayana said even as participation of women in the education sector was on the rise, their representation in jobs in other key sectors was yet to match their educational advancement. “I strongly feel that we need to actually empower the environment for women so that they do not get any special considerations to vie with their male counterparts,” he said.
The RGCB figures among 30 institutions of higher education and research selected by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to implement the innovative programme, which aims at addressing the systematic and cultural barriers to women’s academic and professional advancement across multiple disciplines.
A debate on ‘Gender Equal Opportunities: A Myth or Reality’ was also held. Prizes were distributed to winners of essay writing competitions organised as part of the event.