Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Feb.15: Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), today said that women in Kerala are empowered and the state leads India in human development indicators.
"Kerala leads our country in all social and human development indicators. It is the most literate state and female literacy and life expectancy for women have reached levels prevailing in some advanced countries. The women of Kerala have been truly empowered and enjoy full equality. There have been many many distinct women authors, social activists, doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors...the first Supreme Court judge was from Kerala and all these women have made their mark in the state and else where in the country," said Gandhi said at a rally here.
The UPA chairperson also held discussions with top leaders of the state and inaugurated a private research foundation and a new building of the Women's Centre of the Church of South India (CSI). She is also expected to visit the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.
Reports say that human development indices like elimination of poverty, primary level education, and health care in Kerala are among the best in India.
According to the 2001 census, Kerala has the second highest literacy rate (89.9 percent) among the Indian states after northeastern Mizoram (91 percent) and the life expectancy (73 years) is among the highest in India. Literacy is 88 percent among females and 94 percent among males.
Kerala is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. In 2005, the state was listed among the top 50 destinations of a lifetime by National Geographic.