Telangana

Changing mindsets crucial for women empowerment: Maneka

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi with the members of FICCI Ladies’ Organisation at an event in the city on Friday.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi with the members of FICCI Ladies’ Organisation at an event in the city on Friday.  

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‘DWCD doing it gently, but in a decisive way’

It is important to change the mindset in a patriarchal society to make a big difference to women empowerment and the Department of Women and Child Development has been doing it gently, but in a decisive way, says Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi.

A serious challenge has been to arrest the declining sex ratio and turn it around in 62 of the 100 districts with worst sex ratio.

In Haryana, known for female foeticide, the ratio increased from 830 females per 1,000 men to 930 in one year and this year, it might well touch 990, Ms. Maneka Gandhi said. In Hyderabad, the ratio went up from 916 to 946.

In an interactive session with FICCI Ladies’ Organisation (FLO) on the theme ‘A Paradigm Shift– Super Woman to Super Power’ here on Friday, the Union Minister said the WCD department devised programmes for women empowerment, girls education, safety of children and women and has been training women at the grass-root level to make them effective leaders.

Conceding that trafficking, violence and atrocities against women were a major concern, the Union Minister disclosed that a Bill on trafficking to punish the perpetrators and not the victims was on the anvil.

About 160 Sakhi centres offering counselling, legal and medical services under one roof for women in distress across the country would be taken to 600 centres soon, including 31 in Telangana and nine in Andhra Pradesh. For the last two years, it has become mandatory for the police stations that one third of the new police personnel be women to facilitate women in distress approach police without any hesitation.

Appreciating the FLO, Hyderabad chapter, for their work in helping women from downtrodden sections earn a livelihood, the Union Minister, however, advised them to train women in vocations which would give them a better income.

The FLO could encourage women to get on to Mahila e-Haat, an online initiative by the Ministry to help women market handicrafts and other products made at home or services like mehendi decoration on the website for free. So far, two lakh women have registered on e-Haat. The department was tying up with Amazon to give international presence to the products made by women.

Several inspiring documentaries showcasing the achievements of women should be screened by the FLO to motivate women. Organic farming and food melas were another area with large potential, she suggested.

Kamini Saraf, Chairperson, spoke on the initiatives of FLO on women empowerment.

Asked how she viewed the admiration on Twitter for Nirmala Sitaraman elevated as Defence Minister and abuses for the slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, Ms. Maneka Gandhi said they could not be same people. Deploring trolling on Twitter, she said 70% of Twitter was now vicious and thus she was no longer on it, except for official communication.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:18:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/changing-mindsets-crucial-for-women-empowerment-maneka/article19694136.ece

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