India committed to bringing about gender equality: Vice President

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Mumbai, Mar 30(ANI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said that India's responsibility on gender issues is not in doubt and it is committed to bringing about gender equality.

Addressing the 59th annual convocation of the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women's University in Mumbai, Vice President Ansari said that equally important is the role of other stakeholders, individually and collectively.

"Social reform is a relay race in which the baton has to be carried forward incessantly. The national discourse on the gender question has traveled a good distance and gathered momentum. It should remain focused on promotion of meaningful equity and on enhancing choices," he added. ice President Ansari further stressed that it is necessary to delve into the underlying, unstated sources of the problem.

"Most often women are denied the rights to emotional, mental, psychological and physical spaces. The fact that the female body is constantly under pressure to conform and mould into prescribed social and cultural roles brings into question the spaces that need to be protected as well as rights to be claimed so that women's bodily integrity is respected," he said.

He further said that the need is to "take a plural view of gender inequality, which can have many different faces (and) can vary from one region to another and also from one period to the next."

Ansari also said that gender equality has been defined to mean that "the rights, responsibilities and the opportunities of individuals will not depend on whether they are born male or female and that the perceptions, interests, needs and priorities of women and men will be given equal weight in planning and decision making".

"Gender roles are not fixed, are learned as part of socialization, are influenced by culture and traditions, and can be changed through education, socio-political and legislative interventions," he added. (ANI)

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