ANDHRA PRADESH

Stay united to achieve quota, women told

VIJAYAWADA, NOV. 29. The Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samakhya (APMS) president, Chandra Rajakumari, has exhorted the 50-crore strong women force in the country to stand united for achieving the objective of 33 per cent reservation in Parliament and State legislatures.

"After years of struggle we have managed to get reservation benefits in local bodies. We should now strive to achieve similar benefits in Parliament and State legislatures," she said, while addressing a meeting of women activists at the Railway Institute, Satyanarayanapuram here, on Monday. The meeting was held as a prelude to the forthcoming three-day mahasabha of the APMS to be held in the city from December 4 to 6.

Ms. Rajakumari recalled that women had been playing a dominant role in the country right from the freedom struggle till the recent `anti-arrack movement', which had forced the then Chief Minister, N.T. Rama Rao, to impose total prohibition in the State.

Stringent laws

The APMS general secretary, P. Durga Bhavani, expressed concern that despite a number of legislations, women continued to be exploited in many ways. She said the existing laws should be amended to make them more stringent so that they acted as a deterrent on the perpetrators of violence against women.

The APMS district secretary, A. Vanaja, attributed the increasing violence and exploitation of women to the influence generated by modern day cinemas and electronic media.

The director of Setwin, K. Vijayalakshmi, underlined the need for women to become financially self-reliant by taking up various employment opportunities offered by the organisation.

Stress on self-reliance

The co-opted member of the CPI in the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC), P. Gowtham Reddy, felt that women should come out of their traditional roles of being mere housewives and become financially independent. This could be achieved by them taking up jobs or starting their own business enterprises, he said.

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