Govt policies need relook from women's point of view:Meira Kumar

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar today said the government should revisit all policies and programmes to incorporate gender concerns.

This should be done not to the benefit of only women but to the entire country's population, she said speaking at a session on ''Challenges in Women's Empowerment and Leadership'' on the occasion of the 6th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here.

The minister said gender equality was a necessary pre-requisite for achieving social justice.

Agreeing with previous speaker National Commission for Women chairperson Girija Vyas, she said legislative protection to women should be matched by efforts to raise the level of social awareness regarding women's rights.

The minister stated the government was making special efforts to earmark at least one-third of all funds flowing to the panchayats for the development of women and children and was also ensuring creation of facilities for schooling and extending special care to the girl child.

In the face of the threat to the very survival and basic health of the girl child, the minister observed that there was still a long way to go for developing the spirit and capability for leadership of women at the macro-level.

Ms Kumar underlined the importance of reframing the policies for facilitating women's access to employment in the light of new challenges posed by globalisation.

The minister said initiatives for women's empowerment and gender equality had to be 'inclusive' covering men as well.

Noting that it is essential to develop a consciousness amongst both men and women as being partners in national development, Ms Kumar called for joint effort on the part of national governments and trans-national organisations to refine strategies for encouraging creativity and innovation by both.

The session was also addressed by National Commission for Women Chairperson Dr Girija Vyas, Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat, danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai, MP Krishna Teerath and Seva Legal Aid Organisation President Anu Peshwaria.

UNI NAZ SHB HT1814

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