PM reiterates commitment to socio, eco and political development of women

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New Delhi, Mar 6 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has reaffirmed his commitment to the socio economic and political development of the women.

In his inaugural address in the Women's Leadership Summit 2010 on Inclusive Growth and Empowering Women of Rural India, here today, Dr. Singh said economic growth should benefit all sections of the society.

"Our country has done extremely well in terms of rates of economic growth. But for growth to be meaningful, it must benefit all sections of society, particularly those who are marginalized. This is the reason why our emphasis has been so much on inclusive, social and economic growth. And women have been, as they must be, a special focus of our efforts at inclusiveness," he added.

"While the Government will continue to anchor this task, civil society and all of those who are role models must also play an important role in shaping public opinion and, thus, aiding in the evolution of collective combined efforts to ensure a more equitable and more productive future for the women of our country," he said

Observing that reservation for women in local bodies has revolutionised governance at the grass-roots level, he said, "We hope to give this movement of political participation of women further fillip by increasing the number of seats reserved in Panchayats and city and town governments to 50 per cent.

"More significantly we are moving towards providing one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures," he added.

He decried the low female literacy rate as well as the maternal mortality rate besides the exceptionally low sex-ratio.

"The gender disparity on the economic front is reflected in the low female work participation rate of 25.7 per cent as compared to 51.0 per cent for males," he said. (ANI)

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