New York, Mar 16: India is fully committed to advancing gender equality and women's empowerment and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women for forging inclusive society and development, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has said here.
"Government of India remains fully committed to advancing the goal of gender equality and empowerment of women, and to eliminating all forms of discrimination against women," Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, said on Tuesday.
India is committed to building upon the success of the Millennium Development Goals and aims to move further through "transparent and accountable" mechanisms to ensure that women and men enjoy the same opportunities and are accorded equal treatment, she said during a round table session at the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Gandhi said ensuring gender equality and combating violence against women are integral to India's national pursuit of forging inclusive society and development.
The minister said that amendments to the Indian criminal law in 2013 significantly broadened the definition of sexual assault and harassment, increased penalties for offenders and aimed for greater accountability of public officials in providing relief to woman affected by violence.
Further the National Policy for Women is being updated to capture the emerging challenges to position women as equal partners of sustainable development, Gandhi said adding that efforts are being made by the government to close the gap between the gender equality commitments.
Terming Information and Communication Technology as an "effective enabler" of gender equality and empowerment of women, she told the high-level gathering of women ministers, officials and NGOs from around the world that India has launched the 'Mahila e-Haat', an online marketing platform for women to encourage women entrepreneurs.
The two-week long CSW has brought together representatives from the UN system, member states and civil society from around the world to review the progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment and plan new initiatives.
Over 400 events have been planned with the priority theme being women's empowerment and sustainable development, given that this is the first session of the Commission since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September last year.