Chennai, Oct 11: Terming discrimination and harassment of women as a societal evil, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said it should be eradicated with concerted action to usher in a new India where gender equality becomes the norm to successfully unleash the full potential of the half a billion strong women force.
Speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Ethiraj College for Women here, he said the women of India were central to the nation’s development.
Stating that institutions like Ethiraj College were playing a significant role in ensuring that young women have access to quality education, he said education was not only an entry point to economic opportunities, but also has positive ripple effects on all other aspects of social development.
'That is why the Union Government has focused on girls’ education through its ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ programme', he added.
Mr Venkaiah said 'today, the educated Indian woman is extremely skillful and self-sufficient. She juggles a number of responsibilities with remarkable ease and lives her life on her own terms.'
He said there was not one sphere of activity that women have not made a place for themselves in.
Pointing out that India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women, the Vice-President said Women in India have started recognising their true potential.
'They have excelled in diverse fields ranging from medicine to engineering, from civil services to mountaineering, from research and development to flying fighter aircrafts', he said.
There was no arena which remains unconquered by Indian women. Professions, which were earlier considered to be the forte of men, were now no longer their sole preserve and women frequently outperform their male counterparts with ease and élan, Mr Venkaiah Naidu said.
However, there were some disturbing trends and women were subjected in some parts of our country to discrimination and harassment.
'It is a societal evil that needs to be eradicated with concerted action.
We have to usher in a new India where gender equality becomes the norm, where we successfully unleash the full potential of the half a billion strong women force.
For India to become a global superpower, the Indian woman needs to be empowered, Mr Naidu said and added that institutions like Ethiraj College have a pivotal role to play in equipping women to be the change leaders of tomorrow. (UNI)