New Delhi, Mar 7: President Pratibha Patil today greeted the nation ahead of International Women's Day (IWD), which will be celebrated on Saturday. "On the occasion of International Women's Day, I extend my greetings and felicitations to all my sisters in their continuing role and their relentless effort in shaping the destiny of our country," Patil said in her message.
"Our women folk inspired by Mahatma Gandhi came out of their homes to take part in the freedom struggle. Beginning with their determined efforts in the days before our freedom, today our women continue to strive to transform the social order into a more just and equal one," she added.
The President also said that now many gifted women were making their mark in their chosen professions and each one of them could assist in eliminating social evils like female foeticide, infanticide, dowry.
"They should come forward and help to educate the hapless underprivileged girl child. The empowerment of women is the most effective tool for development as well as poverty alleviation," the President added.
IWD is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world.
When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
IWD is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.